About Renewable Rewards

Does Green Mountain buy back energy that solar panels deliver back to the grid?

Yes. With our Renewable Rewards buy-back plan, you can maximize your return on investment in distributed generation, such as a solar or wind energy system, by receiving credit for any excess energy your system delivers to the grid. Renewable Rewards is available only for Texas residential customers that meet the plan requirements.

Your credits will show up on the second page of your bill on the “GME Renewable Rewards Credit” line as highlighted in the example below:

What is excess energy?

When your solar panels produce electricity, that energy is first used to power your home. If your panels produce more energy than you need, the remaining energy is delivered to the grid. This is the excess energy that you will be credited for when you are enrolled in the Renewable Rewards plan.

How is the excess energy credit calculated?

The Renewable Rewards credit is calculated monthly using the same per-kWh rate that you pay for usage from the grid. This rate is multiplied by the excess energy your system delivers to the grid as follows:

Renewable Rewards credit amount = (energy charge rate in $/kWh) x (excess energy in kWh)

The credit is exclusive of any applicable taxes, fees and other charges (such as late fees, special meter reading fees, and fees related to the disconnection or connection of service).

What term lengths are available?

Renewable Rewards is available for 12-month, 24-month, 36-month and month-to-month terms. Learn more about each of our available term-length options.

Are there any caps or limits on excess energy credits?

Nope! The Renewable Rewards plan doesn’t currently limit or cap the excess energy you can receive credit for.

Existing customers and billing

Why am I not receiving credits for excess energy produced by my solar array?

There are a few steps to take if you are not receiving excess energy credits:

  1. Wait for 3 billing cycles after enrolling in Renewable Rewards.
  2. If the issue persists, contact your solar installer to confirm your solar array has passed inspection, you have received PTO, and you have a signed Interconnection Agreement with your utility.
  3. If it has been more than 3 billing periods and your solar installer has completed the steps above, then reach out to Green Mountain Customer Care at 866-785-4668 to ask about your Renewable Rewards credits.

Don’t worry though—you’ll still receive credit for all the energy your system delivered after you received PTO from your utility.

Do my credits transfer if I switch plans?

No. The credits are only applicable to the Renewable Rewards plan.

Why does my Renewable Rewards credit change from month to month?

Both your energy usage and solar production vary each month because of factors including:

  • Variable weather conditions—solar production is typically higher in the spring and summer
  • Changing usage patterns—usage is typically higher in the summer
  • Potential equipment malfunctions—to remedy, contact your solar installer

What is the difference between my solar production and the excess energy that I receive credit for?

There are a few different terms that describe energy your solar array produces and energy your house consumes, including:

  • Solar production—the total electricity produced by your panels
  • Solar consumption—the solar energy used to power your home
  • Excess energy—any leftover solar energy delivered to the grid
  • Grid usage—energy pulled from the grid when your panels do not produce enough electricity to cover your needs

Why does my solar monitoring sensor not match the excess energy on my Renewable Rewards bill?

Your Renewable Rewards bill shows:

  1. Your energy usage from the grid, or the inflow of electricity through your meter. This is shown on the “Energy Charge” line.
  2. Excess solar energy delivered to the grid, or the outflow of electricity through your meter. This is shown on the “GME Renewable Rewards Credit” line.

Both your grid usage and your excess energy are measured by the meter installed by your utility. The bill does not show your total solar production, which may be measured by your solar monitor. This is because some of the solar power is immediately used by your house and never flows to the grid. Green Mountain does not receive data on your total solar production.

How do I calculate my on-site solar consumption?

Green Mountain is not able to tell what your on-site solar consumption is, but you can calculate it yourself. To calculate solar consumption, you will need the following information:

  1. Grid usage in kWh on the “Energy Charge” line of your bill.
  2. Excess energy in kWh on the “GME Renewable Rewards Credit” line of your bill.
  3. Solar production in kWh from your monitoring system. The production should be for the date range that your Green Mountain bill covers, which can be found on the second page of your bill as “Current Meter Read” and “Previous Meter Read.”

To calculate your on-site solar consumption, use the formula:
Solar Production - Excess Energy = Solar Consumption

You can also calculate your home’s total energy usage from both the grid and your solar panels by using this formula:
Grid Usage + Solar Consumption = Total Energy Consumption

For the example bill above, the grid usage is 382 kWh (in yellow) and the excess energy is 300 kWh (in orange). The monitoring system showed solar production of 532 kWh between the billing dates of 1/3/19 and 2/1/19.

Using the first formula, the customer’s solar consumption was 232 kWh, as shown below:
Solar Production - Excess Energy = Solar Consumption
532 kWh - 300 kWh = 232 kWh

Using the second formula, the customer’s total energy usage from both the grid and solar panels was 614 kWh, as shown below:
Grid Usage + Solar Consumption = Total Energy Consumption
382 kWh + 232 kWh = 614 kWh

Who do I contact about interconnection to the grid and two-way metering?

Contact your utility below to learn more about interconnection to the grid and two-way metering:

Oncor
Phone: 1-888-313-6862
Email: contactcenter@oncor.com
Contact page: http://oncor.com/EN/Pages/I-Need-To.aspx

CenterPoint
Phone: 1-800-752-8036
Contact page: https://www.centerpointenergy.com/en-us/business/customer-service/contact-us

Texas New Mexico Power
Phone: 1-888-866-7456
Contact page: http://www.tnmp.com/contact/general.htm

AEP Central and AEP North
Phone: 1-877-373-4858
Contact page: https://www.aeptexas.com/contact/

If I still have questions, who can I talk to?

If you have questions about your electricity bill or plan, call Green Mountain at 866-785-4668.

If you have questions about your solar panels or don’t think your system is producing as much power as it should, contact your installer.

Plan Eligibility

Who can sign up for Renewable Rewards? What technologies are supported?

Renewable Rewards is available to new and existing residential customers in Texas that have installed home solar or small-scale wind systems with a capacity of 25 kW or less.

What are the requirements to enroll in Renewable Rewards?

It’s pretty easy—just confirm the following requirements are met with your utility and solar installer before enrolling in Renewable Rewards:

  1. Have a home solar or wind system with a rated capacity less than 25 kW.
  2. Have an Interconnection Agreement in place with your utility.
  3. Have a meter installed by your utility that separately measures the inflow and outflow of electricity to and from your home.

Do I need a special meter?

Yes. You’ll need a meter installed by your utility that separately measures the inflow and outflow of electricity to and from your home. Your utility may charge for this meter, and these charges would be passed through to you on your Green Mountain bill.

Can current Green Mountain customers enroll in Renewable Rewards?

Yes! Both current and new Green Mountain customers who meet the plan requirements listed above can enroll in Renewable Rewards. If you’re a current customer enrolled in a plan with a cancellation fee, we will waive that fee if you would like to switch to the Renewable Rewards plan, assuming all the requirements are met.

Signing up for Renewable Rewards

How do I sign up for Renewable Rewards?

Existing Green Mountain customers in Texas can enroll in the Renewable Rewards plan by calling us at 866-785-4668 to switch their electricity plan to Renewable Rewards.

New customers in Texas can enroll in Renewable Rewards online, or call us at 866-301-3120.

When should I enroll in Renewable Rewards?

You can enroll at any time, but to ensure that you receive credit for your excess solar energy as soon as possible, we recommend setting your Renewable Rewards enrollment date to be the same day you expect to receive Permission to Operate (PTO) from your utility. You can set your enrollment date for Renewable Rewards up to 60 days in advance.

How long does it take after I enroll in Renewable Rewards to start receiving excess energy credits?

It can take 3 billing cycles after you receive PTO and are signed up on Renewable Rewards before excess energy credits appear on your Renewable Rewards bill. Both Green Mountain and your utility must make system changes to process your excess energy readings, and these changes take time to complete. Don’t worry though—as long as you’re signed up on Renewable Rewards, you’ll still get credit for all the excess energy your system delivered to the grid after you received PTO from your utility, even if it takes a few months for those credits to show up on your bill.