How to Read Your New (Solar) Edison Bill

Now that you have gone solar and have a Net Energy Metering (NEM) contract with Edison, you will be receiving a monthly Edison bill that is different from what you are accustomed to seeing. We think it’s important that you understand what these bills are telling you, and hopefully this explanation will help you quickly assess your charges or credits.

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For this AMECO Solar customer, we see that their solar system has produced 273 kilowatt hours above and beyond what they have consumed during this billing period.

On the first page of your new Edison bill, there is an item that has created a great deal of confusion. It is the item called “Net Generation.” This is the amount of electricity your solar system has generated that has exceeded your consumption; it is NOT the amount of energy that your system has produced in that billing period. The LCD display on your solar inverter will tell you how much electricity your solar system is producing right now and also how much it has produced since the first day it was turned on.

Edison has their Smart Meter in place only to measure how much electricity they send to your home, or how much electricity you may send back to them. This Smart Meter actually has no idea what your solar system is generating. It simply measures the amount of electricity that you take from Edison (when you are using more than the solar system is producing), or the amount of electricity that you send back to them (when you are using less than the solar system is producing).

Typically, during the daytime your solar system is producing more electricity than your house is using and you are sending the excess back to Edison for a credit. When the sun goes down and the lights in the house go on, the solar system turns stops producing energy and you are now taking electricity from Edison. Some months have more sunshine than others and in some months you use more electricity than in others. So, at the end of the month you may have either a credit or a charge on your Edison bill.

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Be sure to check out the third or fourth page to see how much you will owe Edison at the end of your billing cycle. This AMECO Solar customer overproduced so they are credited $109.55.

The summary of net charges and credits is usually displayed on either the 3rd or 4th page of your Edison bill and is highlighted in a square box on the upper right hand section of the page. Within the box a sentence states:

Additional information regarding your Net Consumption/Generation

  • This information will show your cumulative charge or a credit as of the previous month
  • Your current month energy charge total;
  • Your accumulated energy charge Year-to-Date;
  • Your accumulated kilo-Watt hour (kWh) consumption Year-to-Date.

This is important information and will inform you as to the status of your financial position with Edison’s billing.

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The solar system for this AMECO Solar customer was designed to reduce their electric bill but not completely wipe it out.  We see in the third bullet that they currently owe Edison $163.99.

At the end of the billing year (starting from when your solar system was first turned on) you will receive a bill which tallies all of the credits and charges from each month. If you used more electricity than your system has produced in that year, then you must then pay this total. If your solar system has generated more electricity than you have used over the year, Edison will actually pay you. It is important to pay attention to the information on your monthly Edison bills so that you are NOT surprised if you still owe Edison a substantial amount of money at the end of the billing year.

If you have any questions with regard to Edison billing practices, you may contact one of the Edison representatives who understand NEM at (866) 701-7868.