Offset the cost of the electricity you buy from PGE with energy you generate with solar, wind, hydro and other eligible renewable resources.
Each billing period, the power you used from PGE is offset by the power you sent to PGE through your power generating system. You are only charged for the difference or “net” between these two amounts. PGE calls this program Net Metering.
A Net Metering customer’s bill is calculated using a bidirectional meter, which records power flowing in either direction. This type of meter measures how much electricity you use from PGE and how much electricity your system supplies to PGE.
If you generate more energy than you use during your monthly bill cycle, your bill will have no kilowatt-hour charges, and you will receive kilowatt-hour credits that will be applied to your future electric bills. Unused credits in excess of your monthly usage will accumulate in your PGE account.
This happens in the billing cycle that ends in March. If you would benefit by having your annual billing cycle end in another month, contact the Net Metering coordinator to request a switch. In this month, energy credits that haven’t been applied are donated to customers who are enrolled in low-income bill assistance programs, and your account resets for the following annual billing period.
Although your solar contractor should manage this process and complete the paperwork for you, it’s a good idea for you to know what’s needed as well. PGE uses your Net Metering application to assess the potential effect of your project on the safety, reliability and quality of power delivered to neighboring customers, and to determine whether any upgrades or modifications to our system will be necessary. Most projects don’t require extensive system upgrades. Where upgrades are needed, state rules require us to charge the cost to the customer who’ll benefit from them. We’ll work with you to identify any upgrade costs so you can decide if you want to proceed.
First step: Wait for approval before installing your project.
Submit your application first, and then be sure to have approval before you start any work on your project, especially if you are applying for a project on a generation-limited line. Early consultation and waiting for approval will prevent delays and help you avoid potentially costly mistakes. Time is important, so we’ll review your application as quickly as possible. Depending on how complete your application is and how complex your project is, this may take as little as five business days or as long as 30.
1. Check your address.
First, check your address on our online map of generation-limited service lines. Most of our distribution lines have capacity for new Net Metering projects and can be accommodated with a standard Level 1 or Level 2 application, but a more in-depth application and design review process will be required to address important safety and reliability concerns if your project is planned on a limited line. Contact us at email@example.com or 503-464-8100 to discuss this process before you apply.
2. Complete an application.
Before beginning construction, complete an application for Net Metering in PowerClerk .
View the descriptions below to determine which application fits your project. For details on the three types of applications, see PGE's Net Metering rules from the Oregon Public Utility Commission .
Level 1 application is for inverter-based systems with a nameplate capacity of 25 kW or less. There is no application fee.
Level 2 application is for inverter-based systems with a nameplate capacity of 25 kW to 2 MW. The application fee is $50 plus $1 per kW of capacity.
Level 3 application is for non-inverter-based systems or systems not using lab-tested equipment. The application fee is $100 plus $2 per kW of capacity. Note: This application is also for systems where the Level 1 or Level 2 application review found that more extensive studies, upgrades or protection equipment will be necessary.
The review period typically takes 15 to 30 business days.
3. Get your results from PGE.
Receive the results of PGE’s review via email. There are three possible results:
Asked to submit an application at a higher level which require additional studies.
Approved contingent upon modifications. If any upgrades to PGE’s equipment are required for your system to safely connect with ours, we will inform you of the estimated cost of the upgrade. You will be responsible for the cost of these upgrades. For this reason, we recommend that you wait to begin construction solar system until your application has been reviewed and approved.
Once your review is complete, we will send you a Net Metering agreement, for your electronic signature.
4. Share your permit.
5. Wait to hear to schedule an inspection and install your meter.
After we receive the Net Metering Agreement and passed electric inspection in Power Clerk, our Meter Services team will contact you to schedule a final inspection and installation of a bidirectional meter.
6. Pass your on-site inspection.
During our on-site inspection, you will need to operate your equipment. If you have questions about how that is done, please contact your solar installer. If your system passes our inspection, we will install a bidirectional meter and give you a document with permission to operate your system. You can now benefit from the Net Metering program.
As you go through this process, here’s a few more things to consider with your power generating project.
Customers who have multiple billing meters at the same location may also qualify for meter aggregation. Aggregation allows for any remaining excess kilowatt-hour credits on the net meter at the end of the month to be applied to additional qualifying billing meters.
Under Oregon Public Utility Commission’s Net Metering rules , credits that remain unused at the end of the annual billing cycle are transferred to customers enrolled in low-income assistance programs.