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How do I read my electric bill?

Last Updated: Feb 02, 2016 02:05PM PST

Once you go solar, your bills will look a little different.

You will see two main measurements:

  • How much electricity you have used from the utility company (“kWh Delivered” for LADWP or “Consumption” for Edison)
  • How much electricity you have given back to the utility company (“kWh Received” by LADWP or “Net Generation” for Edison).

NOTE: After going solar, it is imperative that you know the basics of the Net Metering billing structure to ensure you are reading your utility bills properly and are saving as much as possible. See What is Net Metering? for more information about Net Metering.

Your utility company only measures a) the electricity sent to your home and b) the excess energy your panels produce and send back through the grid.

During the day, when solar panel production is at its highest rate, your system may create more energy than your home can use. This excess electricity is pumped back into the grid to be re-routed to other homes in your area. This means your utility will credit* your account for that energy.

*Only if you are on a Net Metering billing plan.

At night, those same credits are used to cover the cost of any electricity you receive from the utility grid when your solar panels are no longer producing energy (i.e. when the sun is down or obscured). This means at the end of each month, you are only billed for your “net” amount of energy used—the difference between how much energy you produced and how much energy you pulled from the grid.

To simplify it further...

Your Net Metering Monthly Cost Equation:

Utility Bill = Amount of grid electricity used - Amount of excess energy produced

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Bills:

You will notice the electric charges in kilowatt hours (kWh) on the front page of your bill.

The breakdown of your electric charges for the month is often displayed on page 3.

“kWh Delivered” is the amount of energy LADWP sent to you while “kWh Received” indicates the amount of energy you have given back to LADWP.

Please note: “kWh Received” is NOT the total amount of energy your system produced during that billing period. This number only accounts for the amount of electricity you produced that exceeded your electricity needs during the month.

To find out more about how to read your LADWP solar utility bill, check out this helpful video made by LADWP.

If you see an estimated bill, please check your next bill for a correction. For more information on LADWP billing estimates, please refer to their website.

Southern California Edison Bills:

Below is an example of how to compare your “consumption”—how much energy you took from the grid—versus your “net generation”—how much energy you sent back to the grid.

Please note: your “Net Generation” value only accounts for the amount of electricity you produced that exceeded your electricity needs during the month. It is NOT representative of your system’s total energy production for that month.

This box below is often displayed on page 2 or 3 of your utility bill, it summates your cumulative data and charges of the current billing cycle.

At the end of your billing year, 12 months from when your system was energized, you will receive your true-up bill, a bill that summates your cumulative charges and credits combined. If your electricity usage is greater than what your system produced in that year, you will have a payment due.

KEEP IN MIND: It is important to pay attention to the information on your monthly Edison bills so that you aren’t surprised if you still owe them a substantial amount of money at the end of the billing year.

If you have any questions with regard to Edison billing practices, you may contact one of their representatives at (866) 701-7868.

Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena Water & Power Bills:

Specific information for how to read your bills for Burbank water and power, Glendale water and power, & Pasadena water and power coming soon.

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Last updated on: 2016-02-02 22:05:30 UTC
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