Sunnova: How Solar Billing Works

If you’ve added solar to your home and believe you still have a high utility bill, here are a few things to think about. First, make sure your system is turned on. Once your system is installed it cannot start generating energy until it's approved by your utility and physically turned on. You can visit your mysunnova account to ensure it has been turned on.

If your system has been turned on and this is your first utility bill since you made the switch to solar, keep in mind that you may not be looking at an entire month of solar production. Let's say your system was turned on during the middle of your utility billing period. In that case, you might only have a week or two of solar production included on your first bill, and it will still be high. For a more accurate picture, review your utility bill after your solar system has been producing energy for a complete billing period.

Another factor that can impact your bill is energy consumption. At certain times of the year you may be consuming more electricity than at another time of the year. Think back and ask yourself if there are any lifestyle habits that changed recently that could explain the higher bill. For example, maybe you have bought a new appliance or device, or you installed an electric vehicle charger. Maybe you've had more people in your home, stayed at home more, or increased your usage after installing your solar system.

It's a good idea to compare your energy consumption before and after a high utility bill to see what may have changed. Your utility rate and plan could also play a factor in high monthly bills. Electricity rates can fluctuate over time, so make sure to check with your utility to see if you're getting the best rate. Unlike electricity rates, home solar rates are typically predictable and many Sunnova services are built on equal installments over the course of a year. That means no surprises. To ensure you get the most predictable bills, check with your utility company about levelized or balanced billing plans for the greatest control over your monthly energy costs.

Seasonality can have an impact on your bill. More energy will be produced during the summer when the days are longer and less will be produced in the winter when the days are shorter. This means in winter months you may need to pull more energy from the grid. In the winter, you might pay for more solar generation than what was actually produced, and if you don't have net metering credits stored to help offset your utility cost, then both bills could look higher than expected. Don't worry—this should reverse in the summer months when you generate more electricity and start banking credits.

Weather conditions also play a role. Many cloudy or rainy days in a row can impact the amount of energy your system produces. Consider what time of the year your system was installed and what the weather conditions were. Rest assured, no matter what is going on with weather, seasonality or consumption, Sunnova is keeping track of how your system is doing every day of the year and we'll be making sure we deliver on our energy commitment to you.

To get a first-hand look, check out MySunnova where you can monitor production to see if your system is performing as expected. If you still have questions about your bill, our customer service team is available and here to help. For faster results when you call, make sure to have your Sunnova system ID number and a few recent bills from your utility company.

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