Installing renewable energy sources on your property is a great way to reduce your dependence on fossil fuels. On-site solar panels and wind turbines can also help you reduce your energy bill; if you generate enough electricity, Clean Energy Alliance might even pay you for the energy that you generate for the grid. You can get reimbursed for your investment in renewable energy through a process called Net Energy Metering (NEM). Read on to learn more about how NEM works, how to enroll, how financial compensation is calculated and more.

NEM allows a customer to receive money back on their electricity bill when their solar or wind power system generates more electricity than is used on-site. The excess energy they generate goes back into the communal power grid. When more electricity is used on-site than the system produces, the customer continues to pay for electricity.

On December 15, 2022, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) modernized the Net Energy Monitoring solar tariff to increase grid reliability, incentivize solar power generation, and battery storage and stabilize energy costs.

For existing solar customers and customers with agreements with San Diego Gas & Electric in place by April 14, 2023:
NEM 3.0 has no impact. It maintains their current rate of compensation, and they will remain on their current NEM tariff for 20 years after connecting to the grid.

For new customers who install rooftop solar after April 14, 2023:
The CPUC projects you should fully pay off your system within 9 years, and will save roughly $100 on your electricity bill.

For low-income customers who install rooftop solar plus battery storage after April 14, 2023:
There is $630 million in state funding available to decrease the upfront cost of solar installation.

Learn more about NEM 3.0 from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) – Energy Division:
CPUC NEM 3.0 Press Release
CPUC Frequently Asked Questions
CPUC NEM 3.0 Fact Sheet

Learn the differences between NEM 2.0 and NEM 3.0.

CEA’s Personal Impact program incorporates Net Energy Metering.

Customers who are considering installing solar panels or wind turbines must first sign up for SDG&E’s NEM program, and then they will be automatically enrolled into CEA’s Personal Impact program.

​​Customers who are already enrolled in SDG&E’s Net Energy Metering Program will automatically become enrolled in CEA’s Personal Impact program upon enrolling with CEA.

Customers who generate their own solar, wind, or other renewable power and want to offset their energy costs by selling their excess energy to CEA qualify for the Personal Impact program.

  • Energy charges and credits will be calculated each month, based on the customer’s applicable rate. If a net charge is due, the charge will be presented on the bill. If there is a net credit it is accumulated for future use against future charges.
  • At the end of the customer’s 12-month relevant period, the account will be trued-up. This 12-month relevant period is determined by the date that the customer enrolls in Net Energy Metering.
  • Any remaining credits will be zeroed out.
  • If renewable energy produced by the customer exceeds the amount of power they used for that 12-month relevant period, the customer will earn Net Surplus Compensation (NSC), calculated at $.06 per kilowatt-hour for Net Excess Generation (the amount of excess power they generated).
  • Customers with NSC greater than or equal to $100 will be sent a direct payment by check. NSC payments of less than $100 will be rolled over into the next relevant period to offset future charges.

If a customer is unable to produce enough energy to cover their electricity expense, they will be charged for the usage based on the CEA rate the customer is enrolled in.

Personal Impact customers are able to select from any of CEA’s power supply products. Customers may opt up or down to other CEA programs. While Personal Impact customers generate their own energy, there may be times when customers may need to use energy from the grid, meaning customers can opt up to 100% renewable energy by opting up to Green Impact!

CEA solar customers enjoy the same financial benefits as SDG&E solar customers and may even gain additional advantages by transitioning to CEA.

When Net Energy Metering (NEM) customers switch to CEA, they retain their NEM status (1.0, 2.0 or 3.0) and the solar rates they had under SDG&E.

Solar customers with SDG&E agreements in place by April 14, 2023, will keep their current NEM status and compensation rates and remain on their existing NEM tariff for 20 years after connecting to the grid.

New customers who installed rooftop solar after April 14, 2023, are still expected to pay off their systems within 9 years and will save approximately $100 on their electricity bills (according to the California Public Utilities Commission).

​​Customers already enrolled in SDG&E’s Net Energy Metering will automatically be enrolled in CEA’s Solar Impact or Personal Impact programs upon transitioning to CEA. NEM surplus generators are compensated at 6 cents per kWh, which is slightly higher than the credit currently provided by SDG&E. CEA customers with surplus generators receive a check on their annual true-up date if their credit amount is $100 or more. Customers with surplus generation below $100 of value will receive a credit towards their next annual NEM billing cycle.

For more information, visit our Net Energy Metering Explained page.

Personal Impact option

Visit the Personal Impact webpage to learn more about the Clean Energy Alliance’s Net Energy Metering program!

Solar panel installation