Customer Service FAQ

couple review their bill

Help with the bill for PV (solar) customers

For customers who generate photovoltaic electricity with solar panels, SMUD allows them to defer paying the electricity part of their bill. (We do require monthly payment of SMUD's systems infrastructure fixed charges -- costs for providing poles, wires, transformers and the other devices that bring electricity to you.)
The electricity part of the bill must be settled up yearly. SMUD adds up any electricity charges the customer deferred through the year and deducts the value of any solar power generated by the customer and sent to SMUD. The difference is the settlement.

Here are samples of the bill. The bill's format was dictated by state law in January 2011.

In Bill Sample 1, Susan L. Customer's credits are listed in detail under "Electric Service Charges/Credits." The yellow highlighted area, with the number 2, shows her current balance for electricity charges and credits, excluding any payments she has made. At the bottom of the bill, marked with number 1, is what she should pay to cover this month's systems infrastructure fixed charges.

In Bill Sample 2, the line marked number 1 shows what she should pay to cover all monthly charges, including electricity.

More information on understanding your PV bill can be found here.

About producing more electricity than you use in a year

The law states that if you are an eligible customer-generator, and produce net-surplus electricity (your solar or wind system generates more electricity than you use) over a 12-month period, you have the right to receive financial compensation or apply the annual excess kilowatt-hours to subsequent bills in the following 12-month cycle. The legislation requires net-metered customers to make one of the following choices:
  • A) Receive compensation for net-surplus electricity generated during the prior 12-month period at SMUD's average cost of generation, which may be less than the retail rate, or
  • B) Apply the annual net-surplus electricity as a credit for kilowatt-hours, subsequently supplied by SMUD to you, or
  • C) Elect not to receive any compensation or kilowatt-hour credit for the annual net-surplus electricity.

If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact the Residential Contact Center at 1-888-742-SMUD (7683) or the Commercial Contact Center at 1-877-622-SMUD (7683). To download the AB920 Excess Generation Election Form click here.

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