Wednesday, June 28, 2023


Note that 80% of San Diego County gets their power from SDCP... I bet most don't even know it!

Here is a potentially important tidbit about I learned about NEM with San Diego Community Power (SDCP). Others have written about this but I am just figuring it out.

TLDR: If you expect ALL the following to be true:
  1. with solar you will have months where you have excess solar generation and other months that you need some power from the grid
  2. you are on the SDCP CCA
  3. you can handle the budgeting if you owe SDGE a large chunk of money at the end of the year instead of paying it on the months you use more power than you generate.
THEN: As soon as you get PTO, call SDCP and get on the ANNUAL NEM billing plan. 
*Don't wait.*

Detailed explanation follows:

Check now, before your solar installation is complete, if you have San Diego Community Power (SDCP) as your provider of power on the SDGE bill. They tried to force us all into this, so unless you opted out, I think you were pushed into the CCA a couple years ago. I was. Note this is kind of hidden on the SDGE bill, you have to dig around. You don't get a separate bill from SDCP, you have to check the SDGE bill.

If your "Electric energy" is provided by SDGE, you are all set. However if it is provided by SDCP as shown above... When you start solar SDCP sneakily defaults you to a MONTHLY NEM Billing instead of ANNUAL NEM billing.

The claimed rationale for this is that if you owe money in any given month(s), you will pay it that month and will have no chance of a surprise large bill at the end of the year. This is true. It may actually be a big help to people who never spend the time to figure out how the billing works.

However! If your situation is such that you have an excess on some months and a deficit on others, you will probably want the excess credits to roll forward to pay the bill on deficit months. And you use the credits against the debits in a close to 1:1 manner. If you are on MONTHLY billing, you will still get paid a bit for any excess monthly credits at the end of the year, but it is at a very small ratio, not 1:1. So it is much better to use your credits against deficit months instead of saving them to be paid out at the end of the year!

So, ANNUAL billing can be a big advantage for the solar owner! On the other hand, MONTHLY NEM billing can possibly detract from the benefits of solar.

To switch to ANNUAL billing, you really, really want to do this right after they turn on your solar (PTO), BEFORE YOUR FIRST BILL. If you wait, you may be restricted in making other billing changes. Once things are set up, you can only make one billing change per year and you don't want this starting default setting change to count as your once a year change.

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