Riverside Public Utilities
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Solar Info

For those who are considering going solar.

Living with Solar

Metering, Monitoring, and Maintenance

During your solar decision process, you’ll make metering choices for monthly or annual billing, and you will want to understanding Net Energy Metering. How you will monitor the energy production is important, this is how you verify you’re getting the value you expected from installing the solar system. And, planning for routine maintenance for continued energy production and safe operation of your new solar system must be considered.

Solar System Metering

The solar system installation will offset energy use but will not eliminate your receipt of a monthly electric bill from the utility. Learn more about the changes in your utility bill and how Net Energy Metering (NEM) works.

If the system is financed by a lease or PPA agreement, you will now have two monthly bills related to your energy use – the monthly utility bill plus the lease or PPA agreement payment.

1. The Utility Bill

Yes! You will still receive a monthly utility bill. The installation of a solar system does not eliminate the monthly utility bill unless your system is “off-grid”. Remember, your solar system energy production is offsetting just the kilowatt hour portion of your bill. If the system is financed by a loan, lease or PPA agreement, you will now receive both a utility bill and a bill from your third party finance agency.

These helpful links provide additional information: Understanding Your Bill points out how to read important aspects of your monthly utility bill; and the current Residential Electric Rate link will describe the utility bill structure and monthly charges.

2. Net Energy Metering (NEM)

Homes with solar installations receive special meters called “net meters” that are certified for accuracy when spinning both forwards and backwards recording both the power used from the utility and the surplus generation delivered back to the utility.

3. How Does Solar Billing Work?

Customers who install a solar electric system may be enrolled in monthly or annual billing. If not specified, customers are automatically enrolled in monthly billing.

  • Monthly billing is available to all customers with a solar electric system, and this is the default option when a solar system NEM is installed. Customers receive a monthly utility bill for net energy consumption that is due and payable each month, just like you received prior to the solar system installation.
  • Annual billing is available for residential customers and small businesses with a maximum yearly demand of 10kW or less. Customers receive a monthly utility bill showing the charges for all services. Annual billing customers may continue to pay for energy charges monthly, but they are eligible to delay payment of energy charges (kWh) to once every 12 months. All other charges, including the monthly electric basic service charge, and water, garbage and sewer, are due and payable every month.

The monthly utility statement will show the net energy used, purchased from the utility, and you can double check your inverter or online monitoring system produced by the PV system.

If you have questions or would like to change to annual or monthly billing, please contact us at (951) 782-0330.

4. Additional Information on NEM Rates

For more information on NEM rates, see the RPU Rates page.