When you go solar you will most likely switch your current PG&E rate schedule to a Time of Use (TOU) rate. That means that the rate that you pay to PG&E per kWh will be determined by the time of day. This also applies to the credits you will receive.
When your system is producing more electricity than your home requires, the excess electricity will be sent to PG&E’s grid for it to distribute to its other customers. Current Net Metering policies require PG&E to pay you a retail credit for each kWh you send to them (see Net Metering Win for Solar in 2014). From May – October PG&E rates increase significantly when the general demand for electricity is highest (weekday afternoons). This is great for those with solar because the sun is out and the systems are producing most. Then in the evening, the rates significantly decrease. So in essence you are selling your excess electricity to PG&E at a high rate and buying it at a low rate in the evenings. For more information on PG&E’s annual solar billing practices check out “Demystify Your Annual Net Energy Metering True Up Statement”
PG&E offers different rate schedules. See the complete residential and commercial rate list HERE. Not all rates are available to new solar customers.
Note, the majority of our residential solar customers choose the E-6 Time of Use rate. This is a tiered rate, meaning that rates start out low and increase depending on the amount of electricity you use. There is also an EV rate for those who own electric vehicles. The EV rate provides a lower rate per kWh overnight when people are expected to charge their vehicles. The primary difference between the EV and E-6 rate is that the EV rate is not tiered.