Renewable Rewards Essential FAQs

About Renewable Rewards Essential

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

Yes. With our Renewable Rewards Essential buyback plan, you receive credit for the excess energy your solar energy system delivers to the grid. For the Renewable Rewards Essential plan, the excess energy you receive credit for is capped at your energy usage from the grid. The plan available to you depends on the utility serving your home address.

Your excess will show up on the second page of your electricity bill on the “GME Renewable Rewards Credit” line.

Please note that the Renewable Rewards Essential plan is only available for Texas residential customers who meet the plan requirements.

What is excess energy?

The electricity produced by your solar panels first powers your home. But when your panels produce more energy than you need, the remaining energy is delivered to the grid. For the Renewable Rewards Essential plan, you’ll receive credits for this excess energy up to your grid usage for each billing period.

How is the excess energy credit calculated?

For the Renewable Rewards Essential plan, the excess energy credit is calculated monthly using your per-kWh energy charge, excluding Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) Delivery Charges, any monthly base charge, applicable taxes and fees, or other charges. The excess energy you receive credit for is capped at your energy usage from the grid for each billing period.

For billing periods in which your excess energy is less than your grid usage, your energy charge 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)
    Note: The energy charge excludes TDSP Delivery Charges.

For billing periods in which your excess energy is greater than or equal to your grid usage, your energy charge rate is multiplied by your grid usage as follows:

  • Renewable Rewards credit amount = (energy charge rate in $/kWh) x (grid usage in kWh)
    Note: The energy charge excludes TDSP Delivery Charges.

For Renewable Rewards Essential customers, the credit amount is exclusive of TDSP Delivery Charges, any monthly base charge, applicable taxes, fees and other charges (such as late fees, special meter reading fees, and fees related to the disconnection or connection of service).

Are there any caps or limits on excess energy credits?

Yes, your excess energy credits are capped. For each billing period, the excess energy credits you receive are capped at your usage from the grid.

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

Do my credits transfer if I switch plans?

No. The excess energy credits are only applicable to Renewable Rewards plans.

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

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

• 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—if your system is underproducing, contact your solar installer.

What is the difference between my solar production and the excess energy delivered to the grid?

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.

For the Renewable Rewards Essential plan, you receive credits for excess energy delivered to the grid up to your grid usage for each billing period.

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

Your Renewable Rewards Essential bill shows:

• Your energy usage from the grid, or the inflow of electricity through your meter (shown on the “Energy Charge” line).
• The excess solar energy for which you are credited (shown on the “GME Renewable Rewards Credit” line).

When your excess energy delivered to the grid is greater than your monthly usage from the grid, the kWh shown on the “GME Renewable Rewards Credit” line will match the kWh shown on the “Energy Charge” line on your bill. This is because the excess energy you receive credit for is capped at your usage from the grid for each billing period.

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.

Who do I contact about interconnection to the grid and configuring my meter?

Contact your utility to learn more about interconnection to the grid and configuring your meter to separately measure the inflow and outflow of electricity from your home:

Oncor
Phone: 1-888-313-6862
Email: contactcenter@oncor.com
Contact page: https://www.oncor.com/SitePages/ContactUs.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

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 1-866-785-4668.

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.

Program Eligibility

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

The Renewable Rewards Buyback Program is available to new and existing residential customers in Texas who have installed home solar or small-scale wind systems with a capacity of 50 kW or less.

What are the requirements to participate in the Renewable Rewards Buyback Program?

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

1. Have a home solar or wind system with a rated capacity less than 50 kW.
2. Have an Interconnection Agreement in place with your utility.
3. Have a meter configured by your utility that separately measures the inflow and outflow of electricity to and from your home.
4. Enroll in a Renewable Rewards buyback plan.

Do I need a special meter?

Yes. You’ll need a meter configured 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 a Renewable Rewards buyback plan?

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

Signing up for a Renewable Rewards Buyback Plan

How do I sign up for a Renewable Rewards buyback plan?

Existing Green Mountain customers in Texas can enroll by calling us at 1-866-785-4668 to switch their electricity plan to a Renewable Rewards buyback plan.

New customers in Texas can enroll in a Renewable Rewards buyback plan online, or by calling us at 1-866-301-3120.

When should I enroll in a Renewable Rewards buyback plan?

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 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 a Renewable Rewards buyback plan up to 60 days in advance.

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

It can take up to three billing cycles after you receive Permission to Operate (PTO) and are signed up on a Renewable Rewards buyback plan before excess energy credits appear on your bill. Both Green Mountain and your utility must make system changes to process your excess energy readings, and these changes take time to complete.