Is PG&E charging more for using solar panels?

A Tracy resident saw his PG&E bill jump, which led him to wonder why.

Today’s Why Guy question came from Pete Marshall of Tracy who said, “My PG&E solar bill is typically $ 73 a month. Then in April I got an extra charge of about $ 550 on my bill, on top of my normal $ 73. Then I recently opened my bill and I see a new charge of $ 1,879. That’s crazy. How did you come up with this number? “

Marshall said he had solar panels in his Tracy home for three years and received a low monthly energy bill during that time, but was stunned and suspicious of the additional costs. When he called PGE a while ago the explanation was that it “didn’t make sense to me”.

The Why Guy and the PG&E corporate team reached out to Megan McFarland to discuss Marshall’s tale. Due to privacy issues, PG&E was unable to speak specifically about his account but immediately contacted him to see what the issues were.

Marshall says he was on the phone with a PG&E customer service rep for most of May 20.

“They gave me the answers I was looking for and took care of my solar problem. [They] also helped me lower my bill, “Marshall said.

So here is why he had the huge electric bill. Its solar panels were accidentally turned off in April 2020. Marshall and PG&E don’t know how. When the solar panels were deactivated, it did not generate any electricity and at the same time obtained all of its electricity from PGE, a kind of double blow.

It was almost a year before this huge bill came in.

Starting today, May 26th, Marshall is again using solar energy to create a payment plan for the big bill. He spoke to the panel manufacturer to fix the problem so it doesn’t recur.

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