The benefits of going with solar power make sense on so many levels especially now that the cost of installation and the pay back time are reduced, making it a financially viable alternative.
But before you “go green” and sign up for the various solar programs available in your area, I ask that you do your research about the Smart Meter requirements after installing solar panels to be interconnected on a net metering basis with your power company.
This is the letter you receive from PG&E after you have signed all the contracts, after you have had the site survey, after the installation and signed agreement from PG&E to operate a solar system. In other words, no-one will tell you this upfront and you may not notice that this is a default requirement. You must check that your state has an opt out provision BEFORE you even think about going solar and make sure that it is part of your contract with the solar company.
Thank you for your application to enroll your new generator in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) Solar and Net Energy Metering (NEM) program. Here’s what will happen next:
The interconnection will take up to approximately 30 business days to complete and includes the following steps. PG&E will:
- Review your application for completeness and accuracy.
- Perform an engineering review of your interconnection.
- Perform a field inspection of your system as needed.
- Install your NEM-enabled SmartMeter™, (once the engineering review and field inspection is complete).
- Send a letter providing you with permission to operate your solar photovoltaic or renewable energy system.
It is very important that you wait until you receive written authorization from PG&E before you operate your solar generating system.
If you want to keep the SmartMeter™ at no additional cost, no action is required on your part. If you wish to opt-out of the SmartMeter™ Program for any reason, you have the option to receive a digital non-communicating meter at your home. For more information about the SmartMeter™ Opt-Out Program, which includes CPUC-set charges, visit http://www.pge.com/SmartMeterOptOut, please visit one of our local offices, or call our dedicated Solar Customer Service Center at 1-877-743-4112.
If you have provided written authorization for your solar or wind power contractor to act on your behalf, we will communicate with that company directly as we process your application and interconnect your system to PG&E’s electric grid.
Following all approvals, we will send you a packet of materials welcoming you as a solar or renewable energy customer and providing additional details about our NEM Program.
For more information about our Solar and NEM Program and the interconnection process, please visit http://www.pge.com/afterinstalling .
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Solar Customer Service Center at 1-877-743-4112.We’re available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
We consider it a privilege to serve you, and we appreciate your business. Thank you.
Electric Generation Interconnection Department”
The highlighted note is the ONLY time this has ever been mentioned – and in my own case I specifically asked the solar company if this was a requirement of having solar installed. If you give your solar company approval to act on your behalf, I’m not sure you would have received this letter or taken any notice of the provisions contained within it if you did.
Here is the page on PG&E’s website that tells you about the Opt Out options.
Take your solar company to task and ask them to SHOW you, not tell you, the conditions of a net metering solar system in your area.
Meanwhile, buy a copy of Take Back Your Power, by Josh del Sol and show it to your friends, solar company and your school PTA meeting. Smart Meters affect young children the most and there are many cases of inexplicable changes in health after having one of these meters installed on your home. It also also been shown to affect anyone who has a compromised immune system so if you have people in your home that are frail for any reason, watch this movie.