Understanding Your NYSEG Bill With Community Solar

​how do i read my new utility biLl?

​You've bought a community solar array, and now the farm is on-line generating free electricity for your home or business. What happens now? Do you still get a NYSEG bill, or does it just go away? How do you read those bills to understand exactly what your system produced and how much money it saved you?

This short article should help you understand how community solar credits show up on your bill, some of the terminology used on NYSEG bills, and how to make sure the utility is doing their part and sending you all the energy credits you generated.

First things first, let's start with some vocabulary.

Here are some explanations and definitions regarding your new Community Distributed Generation billing arrangement with NYSEG.

  • Allocation - This is the amount of the solar farm that you own. For billing purposes, it is expressed as a percentage of the overall facility. We can provide you with your ownership percentage upon request.
  • Generation - This is the amount of solar energy that your allocation of the total host facility has produced and is expressed as a dollar value. NYSEG provides Renovus with an Allocation Report that gives the generation in kWh and the dollar value. We can provide you with this percentage upon request.
  • Host Account - The solar farm account is the host.
  • Host Account Billing Period- This is the time between the meter reads at the solar farm. These dates are found on the Allocation Report that NYSEG provides to Renovus.
  • Satellite Account - This is your home or business account(s) that receive generation credits from the host account, based on your allocation percentage.
  • Satellite Account Billing Period - This is the time between your home or business’ meter reads and is expressed as a Current Meter Read Date and Previous Meter Read Date. These dates can be found on page 3 of your utility bill.
  • Timing of Credits - Since your home or business’ (satellite) billing period my not be in sync with the solar farm’s (host), you may be billed in one month but have generation credits applied in the next month. This is generally not an issue; however, it may explain why you may not have any generation credits on a particular bill. If you experience this, feel free to contact Renovus so we can confirm this is the case.

​Additionally, some of these general industry terms can be helpful when evaluating your solar allocation.

  • Billing Period End Date - is the same as the Current Meter Read Date on your home or business’ bill
  • CDG - Community Distributed Generation
  • CDG Generation Applied - the amount of generation credit applied to your bill
  • Current CDG Generation - the generation produced from the solar farm in the most recent host account billing period
  • Generation - solar energy produced by the solar farm
  • kWh - measurement of power over time, kilowatt (1000 watts) per hour
  • Prior Excess CDG Generation - any extra generation credit you have remaining after the previous bill
  • Remaining CDG Generation - any extra generation credit left after being applied to your bill, this will become Prior Excess Generation on you next Account Summary

​​With that jargon out of the way, let's take a look at an actual bill layout.

As you can see, these miscellaneous charges are rolling back your monthly electric bill. If your system is sized well, and credits have been accruing throughout the year, your bill will almost always end up at $0.00 per month. Those miscellaneous charges are listed in more detail on the next page.

We know what you're thinking. These bills are ridiculous.

NYSEG and National Grid have complex billing measurements and systems that can make understanding your bill extremely complicated. Here are a few tips to simplify your bills, and ensure you're only getting the right information.

Sign up for a NYSEG.com account.  This allows you to submit meter readings easily (more on that below) and allows access to PDF copies of your most recent bill and summary page. It is also recommended that you switch to e-billing (i.e. paperless statements) this will allow you to access 12 months of PDF bills online to easily share with Renovus for analysis.

Read your house meter on estimated months.  For NYSEG customers not in the smart meter pilot project area, NYSEG takes an actual read of your home’s meter every other month.  During the months in between they estimate your usage.  You can choose to submit meter readings for the estimated months, to ensure every bill is based on actual readings. The easiest way to submit a meter reading is to sign in to your NYSEG account online. Here is a link NYSEG Meter Reads for more information on how and why.

Take a closer look at your ESCO.  We strongly recommend checking the rate that you are paying your ESCO for supply charges. Often the rate offered by NYSEG is less. Here is a link for more info about Electricity Supply Companies.

Adjust or Remove Budget Billing.  NYSEG bases budget billing on historical data from your previous twelve months of usage, so you’ll want to adjust the amount of your monthly payment. It may also be a good idea to just cancel budget billing for at least a year, in order to establish a new historical baseline. Here is a link to NYSEG Budget Billing.

Remove Day/Night rate billing.  We recommend removing this for most customers.  Day/Night rates are only effective if you use over 1,000 kWh/month and 30% of that usage occurs during the designated night hours.

Last but not least, is the most important way to always understand exactly what your solar system is producing and when; Your monitoring portal.

Your solar farm will have a unique monitoring portal where you can see the production of the overall farm. Divide that production by your ownership percentage and you'll know exactly how many kWh you generated in any given time.

We hope this helps you understand all the layers of your NYSEG bill now that you have community solar. As always, if you have ANY questions feel free to reach out to our team's service department with the contact information below.

Renovus Solar Service Dept. 607-277-1777 x 4 service@renovussolar.com

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