Is PG&E Cheating?

Our solar panels (24 of them) have been generating free electricity for Pacific Gas and Electric since August 2008. We were expecting some compensation from them, since AB 920 was effective January 1, 2010. But because of a technicality, and PG&E’s misleading information, we are getting nothing back of the $475.36 that we were “credited” this year. I think this is outrageous. My letter to PG&E follows. Please feel free to publish it if you think it deserves merit. (Also attached are the true-up statement and PG&E’s misleading letter.)—Nancy Ingalls

December 7, 2010

Felecia K. Lokey, Senior Director
Customer Engagement
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
NEM Compensation Program
P. O. Box 770000, MC B12C
San Francisco, CA 94177

Dear Ms. Lokey,

Enclosed please find a copy of my NEM (net energy metering) true-up statement covering the past year of 2010. The statement shows that I have a surplus of 3,977 kWh (kilowatt hours) and that it amounts to $475.36. Yet, when I inquired about when I would be receiving this money, a PG&E representative informed me that I won’t be getting any of that money, and that the program goes into effect next year.

Also enclosed is the letter I received [from you in January, 2010]. It clearly states, “In the meantime, you will automatically be enrolled in the new program and the 12-month period that determines your eligibility for compensation will start on your regular 2010 true-up date.” You summarize your letter by saying, “You do not need to take any action to be eligible for the new program, and PG&E will automatically notify you of your compensation options if you qualify as a net generator.”

I did not receive any further communications about “compensation options” from PG&E, but it’s obvious from my annual true-up statement that my solar panels net-generated 3,977 kWh for your company, PG&E, this past year alone.

The above highlighted statements are confusing and misleading to the average consumer. What is also misleading is the optional choice of moving up the 2010 start date of the 12-month true-up period. Who wouldn’t want to be receiving credit as soon as possible? Assembly Bill 920 was signed into law by Governor Schwartzenegger on October 11, 2009, and filed by the Secretary of State on that same day. The law was effective January 1, 2010. So why was my true-up date pushed all the way forward to November 2010—especially when my solar panels have been generating free electricity to PG&E (approximately 3,500 kWh annually) since their implementation in August 2008?

In summary, I trust that the California Public Utilities Commission has determined all of the details by now for the new enhancements to the NEM program and that they are fully implemented. Therefore, I hereby request that PG&E move up my 12-month NEM true-up start date retroactively to January 1, 2010 so that I may recover at least partial compensation for all of the free kWh you have received from my premises over the course of the last two years.

Nancy U. Ingalls

cc: John M. Urban, Attorney
cc: California Public Utilities Commission

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