San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) Solar Program Overview
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is one of the larger energy companies in the US and has been around for 138 years. Owned and operated by Sempra Energy, SDG&E provides service to about 3.3 million people in California and generates electricity through wind, natural gas and solar energy sources.
SDG&E supports many solar customers (and more every day!) who are connected to the energy grid. Customers can also purchase clean electricity exclusively generated by solar when they enroll in the EcoChoice plan. In the long run, installing your own home solar system is a less costly option, especially when you take advantage of existing solar rebates and incentives from SDG&E and the federal government.
How the SDG&E Solar Program Works
Solar energy generated from your own solar panel system can be used to power your home, store energy in a home battery, or sell the power back to the electricity grid. To power your home, you need a solar system and sunlight. To store energy for future use (like at night), you need a special home battery. To sell power back to the grid, you need a two-way system and a meter that is hooked up to the utility grid. These function together to send energy back to the grid and offset your electric bill, a program which is called net metering.
SDG&E offers Net Energy Metering (NEM, also called NEM 2.0) almost everywhere. There is an online tool for checking the validity of your location, and EnergyPal can help you determine if your home is applicable. The energy you sell back to the grid is purchased at rates set by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and is typically somewhat less than what you pay for your retail electricity. This amount you sell back to SDG&E becomes a credit and goes against the cost of retail electricity you use when you cannot supply yourself with enough solar energy. Sometimes the amount you can sell back to the grid is capped.
At the end of your 12-month billing cycle, you receive a True-Up statement. This shows a net charge if your charges for consumed energy exceed your credits for excess solar energy contributed over the last 12 months. Conversely, if your credits for producing surplus solar energy from your panels exceed what you were charged for consumed energy, then SDG&E compensates you. Overall, you can offset your electric bill to near zero! However, SDG&E usually will not compensate you above 100% offset of your electric bill charges, credits do not apply to monthly infrastructure charges, and credits do not carry over to the next 12-month billing period. EnergyPal will help you size and configure your solar and home battery system appropriately to ensure you maximize your financial savings and energy independence.
Becoming an SDG&E Solar Customer
In addition to reducing fossil fuel consumption and diminishing your carbon footprint, you can reduce your monthly bill, improve the resale value of your home and avoid power loss during outages with your own solar (or solar-battery) system. EnergyPal will help you follow these steps:
- Download your SDG&E bill information on your annual usage.
- Assess the solar potential for your home, and analyze your roof.
- Compare quotes for solar panel systems and finance options.
- Prepare the interconnection agreement, and sign documentation.
- Install your solar system using qualified workers.
- Pass inspection with local inspectors and SDG&E.
- Sign up for NEM to get credit for generating your own power!
Upfront SDG&E Solar Incentives
There are multiple incentive programs available to reduce the upfront costs associated with solar system installations. They are the:
- Disadvantaged communities (DAC) or disadvantaged communities Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (DAC_SASH) programs. These programs provide free or discounted home solar systems to those who qualify.
- Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). This program provides free or discounted solar storage batteries to those who qualify.
- Savings By Design (SBD) program. This program helps you design a new home or business for maximum sustainability.
- New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) program. This program helps install solar systems on newly constructed homes.
- Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program. This incentivizes building owners of low-income, multifamily buildings to install solar systems.
EnergyPal is available to help you navigate SDG&E bills and the SDG&E solar program requirements and steps for installing solar. Start by requesting a quote, and we’ll help you through the whole process so you get the right system at the right price and offset your SDG&E electric bill.