Solar or wind generation for multiple tenants on a single property
Sonoma Clean Power supports onsite renewable electricity generation system with our Virtual NetGreen Program.
What is Virtual ?
Virtual NetGreen is Sonoma Clean Power’s Net Energy Metering program that allows certain customers to install a generating system (e.g. solar system on the roof) that offsets the electricity use of multiple tenants at a single location.
Virtual NetGreen is for customers that install one solar system and share the electricity production across multiple accounts may be eligible for virtual net metering. For example, an apartment building with a large rooftop solar installation could share electricity production across all of the residents, offsetting a portion of each apartment’s electricity needs.
Please note, eligibility restrictions may limit customer participation in Virtual NetGreen.
Sonoma Clean Power’s program has unique benefits to incentivize more local renewable power.
Virtual NetGreen works by crediting the amount of electricity produced by the generation system and allocated to each benefitting account compared to how much electricity was consumed from the grid by each benefiting account. Every month, Sonoma Clean Power looks to see how much overall net consumption occurred or how much net production was allocated. This is done on an account-by-account basis for all benefitting accounts – each account is treated like a standard NetGreen account.
If the amount of electricity allocated to the benefitting account is more than is consumed, SCP gives dollar credits based on the price of electricity when the production happened. As a bonus for producing clean, local electricity, SCP gives an additional 1¢ for every kWh* produced. These credits are banked to help pay for any consumption that may occur over the course of the year.
However, if more electricity is consumed than is allocated to the benefitting account, SCP charges based on the price of electricity when the consumption happened.
When this occurs, SCP will first apply any banked credits to cover the charges. If the amount charged is greater than the credit balance, SCP will bill for the remainder.
In May, SCP conducts an Annual Cash-Out process for all benefitting accounts that have $100 or more in credits. SCP will send the account holder a check for the entire amount up to $5,000! It is automatic – no applications needed. If, however, the account has less than $100 in credits the credits simply rollover to the next year. Note credits in excess of $5,000 are forfeited.
Please note: PG&E will track any charges or credits associated with delivery (also known as transmission and distribution). The annual true-up process with PG&E will remain the same.
Current PG&E customers: When customers switch to SCP, PG&E triggers a true-up on the account at the time when the switch happens. Normal terms and conditions of PG&E’s true-up process apply.
*A kWh (kilowatt hour) is the standard measure of electricity
Each Benefiting Account under Virtual NetGreen enjoys unique benefits for producing clean, local electricity including:
- Excess electricity produced is credited at the retail value plus $0.01/kWh
- Credits are banked to help cover any SCP generation charges throughout the year
- Automatic, annual cash-out occurs of any unused credits if the balance exceeds $100, up to $5,000* (occurs every May)
*Credits over $5,000 are forfeited and reset to zero annually
There are some key differences between SCP’s Virtual NetGreen program and PG&E’s Virtual Net Energy Metering (VNEM) program.
- The process of installing solar is the same across both programs. Typically a solar installer/contractor evaluates the site, designs and installs the system, including working with PG&E to connect the system to the distribution grid.
- Sonoma Clean Power encourages customers interested in solar to get multiple evaluations and quotes. A few local resources include:Find a local contractor: contact Solar Sonoma County at (707) 654-4350 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Compare contractor bids: contact the Energy Independence Office at (707) 565-6470 or email@example.com
- Learn about financing options: contact the Energy Independence Office at (707) 565-6470 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Each benefiting account has the ability to select their electricity provider. Sonoma Clean Power customers can choose to stay with the standard CleanStart service or go 100% renewable with EverGreen.
By signing up for EverGreen, SCP’s optional premium service, all of a customer’s electricity use is comes from 100% renewable and local sources, even when their solar system isn’t producing electricity.
EverGreen carries a premium of $0.025/kWh which is charged any time there is any net consumption of electricity. This means that if:
C. A customer is on a flat rate (price remains consistent regardless of time of day) like RES-1 (PG&E’s E-1 equivalent), the EverGreen premium will be charged to all net energy consumed, or
D. A customer is on a Time-of-Use rate (price varies based on time of day) like RES-6, the EverGreen premium will be charged to all net energy consumed during any time-of-use period (Peak, Part-Peak, Off-Peak).
Each benefitting account to which credits are applied has the option to be a Sonoma Clean Power customer. SCP customer accounts will be credited per NetGreen rules.
Customers choosing PG&E will have their account billed in accordance with PG&E’s Net Energy Metering program.
Allocations are set by the program or building administrator according to their terms and conditions.