Understanding Your Bill
Every month, solar power is generated by the project connected to your solar subscription. The amount of solar energy produced directly results in discounts to your monthly electricity bill. This document explains how community solar interacts with your bill.
Before We Begin
To better understand your bill, it helps to understand how electricity consumption is measured and the charges based on that consumption.
- How Electricity Consumption is Measured
Every time you turn on a light bulb or plug in a device in your home, you are consuming electricity. The rate of power a device uses when it is turned on (or plugged in) is measured in watts(W) or kilowatts(kW). 1000 W = 1 kW. The rate of power a device consumes over time is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
- How Your Bill Relates to Electricity Consumption
Your utility bill depends on a number of factors, including your electricity rate plan (examples include time of use (TOU) rate, fixed rate, or tiered rate), along with fees, taxes, and adjustments specific to your utility company and geographical location. Look at your electricity bill to see a breakdown of your electricity costs.
Your Utility Bill + Community Solar
The following section will help you understand your bill as it exists now and changes that will be added once you sign up for community solar. Use the sample bill provided by your utility company to help follow along.
Sections of Utility Bill
- Normal utility bill charges
These costs are based on your electricity consumption, taxes, fees, and adjustments—not solar energy production! After signing up for community solar, you will continue to be billed for the amount of electricity you consume every month per its normal schedule.
- Bill Credits
These are monthly discounts that accrue based on the amount of solar energy (kWh) produced through your solar subscription. Bill credits are applied according to a per-kWh rate ($/kWh) determined by your utility company. Rates can be found in the table below.
Portland General Electric
These rates are based on the 2020 Interim Offering and are constant for the life of the project
- Subscription Fees
Monthly fees that accrue based on the amount of solar energy (kWh) produced through your solar subscription. Subscription fees are applied according to a per-kWh rate ($/kWh) determined by your Project Manager.
- Program Fees
Monthly fees that reflect the administration costs of the Oregon Community Solar Program ($/kW-AC per month). Note: Some Project Managers may choose to pay these fees on behalf of subscribers, and therefore the subscriber would not pay them directly. Instead, the cost of these fees would be included in the customer’s subscription fees. Fees may be updated on an annual basis by a process overseen by the Oregon Public Utility Commission.
Portland General Electric
Program Administrator Fee
Total Program Fee
- Total Utility Bill
Your total electricity bill is calculated by subtracting your solar discounts from your electricity costs and fees.
A customer’s overall savings will depend on the subscription fees charged by their Project Manager and their subscription size. To learn more about how this works, please refer to the Oregon Community Program Bill Impact Calculator.