How it works
Net Metering helps you offset the cost of the electricity you buy from PGE with energy you generate at home. Power can be generated with solar, wind, hydro and other eligible renewable resources.
With Net Metering, PGE will keep track of the energy you use and the amount of excess power your system generates. The excess kilowatt-hour credits are deducted from your usage and you receive a bill for the difference (or net).
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. (See Net Metering Billing for details.)
Customers interested in back up batteries can also design a system for Net Metering that incorporates battery storage as a backup power source.
Net Metering requires the installation of a special bidirectional meter, which monitors the power flow in two directions. Installation of this meter is free.
Steps for setting up Net Metering
- 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, so they can be handled with a standard application. A more in-depth application and review process will be needed to address important safety and reliability concerns if you’re planning a project on a limited line, so contact us to discuss this process before you apply on one of these lines.
- Before beginning construction, complete an application for Net Metering in PowerClerk.The review period typically takes 15 to 30 business days. For non-residential installations, see Business Net Metering.
- 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 interconnect, 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.
Understanding the Application Review Process
The application process starts when we receive a complete application. In 1 to 3 business days, we will send a confirmation of receipt of the application.
Our engineers will review Level 1 applications within 10 business days and Level 2 and 3 applications within 15 business days. If any upgrades to PGE’s system are required for your system to safely interconnect, we will inform you of the estimated cost of the upgrade. Customers are responsible for the cost of upgrades. For this reason, we recommend that customers and contractors wait to build their solar system until your application has been reviewed and approved.
After the application has been approved, PGE will request receipt of the approved municipal electric permit and signed Net Metering Agreement. When we have received these items, we will request a PGE inspection and bi-directional meter installation. PGE’s Meter Services team will then reach out via email to schedule the appointment.
If your system passed PGE’s inspection and a bi-directional meter is installed, the metermen will give you permission to operate the system. At a later date, PGE will provide you with your executed Net Metering agreement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can all of PGE’s power lines accept Net Metering projects?
Most of our lines can easily support more Net Metering projects. Check our online map before you apply and contact us for more information if you happen to be served by one of the lines with limited capacity for new generation projects.
I’ve heard I can proceed with a project on a limited line if I add a second meter base. Is that correct?
Typical residential projects on limited lines may still be able to participate in Net Metering most hours of the year by adding a second meter, but it’s critical for you to wait to construct until PGE completes its review of your application and identifies any additional measures that may be needed for your project to safely connect to our system. Please budget up to 30 business days for the review.
You can also support solar or other renewable resource development without building a project yourself. Check out PGE’s voluntary renewable power options.
Will I need to pay for improvements to PGE’s system as part of my project?
In most cases, no. A few projects require some system upgrades, which state rules require us to charge 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. If your project is on a limited line and a second meter is required, you’ll need to plan for the cost of the second meter base in your project budget.
Will I have an energy bill on the Net Metering program?
PGE customers will always have a bill for the basic fees and taxes. Customers will also be responsible for any energy that they purchase above what they generate (See Net Metering Billing for details).
Where can I see how much my system generated?
PGE is not able to see the total generation of your system. When your system is generating energy, the energy first goes to offset your home’s energy needs and if there is excess energy, it is sent on to PGE’s grid. PGE is only able to see that excess energy that is fed on to our grid.
Who do I call with questions about my solar system?
Solar equipment is customer-owned and operated. Please reach out to a qualified solar contractor, electrician or your equipment manufacturer to discuss your questions.
Can PGE recommend a contractor?
PGE treats all customers and contractors equally and does not endorse any specific contractors. See Get Started with Solar for more information about the solar process and choosing a solar contractor.
For more information, email us, or call the Net Metering coordinator at 503-464-8100.