The Meaning Of Your “Truth-Up” Statement

New solar owners may be confused by the true up solar bill statement. This article will answer any questions that new solar users might have.

Utility bills are affected by solar panel installation. Although your utility will send you a statement every month, you won’t get billed until the anniversary of activating your solar system. The utility will send you a “True-Up” Statement at that point. The True-Up Statement contains your annual utility bill as well as a breakdown of electricity usage.

The History Of Net Metering

All utility customers have meters that measure how much and when they use energy so the utility can bill them. When the sun is shining, solar users generate their own electricity, send any excess to the grid, and buy electricity from the utility company when it’s not. When the sun isn’t shining, you pay the utility for the grid energy you use, minus the solar energy you send back to the grid. This is net metering.

What Takes Place When The Sun Is Out?

  • During months of high solar production, your solar panels may produce more energy than you use. The extra energy will be returned to the grid and “banked” during these months.
    • Your credit is based on the retail rate at which the utility sold your excess energy to your neighbors, minus a few cents to cover utility program costs.
  • Your “net” energy consumption will be negative.

When The Sun Is Not Shining, What Occurs?

• During months with low solar production and whenever the sun is not shining, it is likely that you draw some power from the grid.

• Extra energy credits “banked” in previous months will be applied during those months.

• Your “net” energy consumption will be greater than zero.

Your Monthly Statement From The Utility Provider

Grid usage and connection fees are always a monthly cost. In addition, your monthly bill lists your net energy consumption. It’s a charge or a credit. These charges and credits are carried over to the final settlement.

Your Yearly True-Up Assertion

The utility sends the True-Up statement to solar users on the anniversary of the date your solar system was activated. The True-Up reconciles all energy charges, credits, and compensation for a full year.

• Any remaining balance after reconciling all credits and charges appears on the True-Up statement.

• If your system produced more energy than you consumed during the 12-month billing cycle, you will receive a small credit on your True-Up bill ranging from 2 to 4 cents per kilowatt-hour, and the annual cycle will begin again.

• The “True-Up” rate is less than the rate you receive for additional solar energy shared all year. In 2016, utilities pushed to eliminate the True-Up rate. Now they want to cut your rate for excess energy for the rest of the year, and we’re fighting back aggressively.

Always Budget Monthly For Your True-Up Bill

Remember that you may be required to pay for a True-Up, and set aside a portion of your solar savings for this possibility. Thus, you avoid an unanticipated bill.

Important Data Points On Your True-Up Bill

Include the following in your True-Up statement:

  • The amount of electricity your solar system generated throughout the year.
  • How much electricity you purchased from the grid and how much of that was offset by net metering credits?
  • The electricity retail rate is used to determine the value of the accumulated credit.
  • Any remaining solar energy credits and the amount owed to you.
  • The total amount you are required to pay the utility provider.

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