Energy Products

Who gets the generated solar power first - customer or the grid?

I live in Orange County and Southern California Edison (SCE) is our utility provider. Someone told me that, if you don't have a power wall, all the solar power generated will first go to the grid and then you draw power back from the grid. I thought that solar power generated first goes towards the home usage and only excess power is sent to the grid. Which one is correct? The sequence may be important because, if the power is sent to grid first, SCE net metering will have some cost, as sell at a lower rate than the rate at which we buy from SCE.


  • edited October 2019
    I'm also with SCE. The soar PV system dumps power to the house wiring, inside of the utility meter. What doesn't get used by the house goes out to the grid. FYI, SCE carries excess for the year, then you get paid out at a wholesale rate, which is two cents per kWh or so. You definitely don't want to buy a system that routinely overproduces on a yearly basis. Doing so is a money *losing* proposition.
  • edited November -1
    Thanks Greg. The lowest price for super-off-peak consumption in my TOU plan is about 10 cents, off-peak is 16 cents, and peak is even higher. I can understand that SCE should be compensated to some degree for maintaining the grid infrastructure and providing backup power when you need it, but 2 cents seems to be unfair. A fairer scheme would be provide the consumer equivalent kWh of energy to that supplied to SCE, minus some percentage (say, 20%) for carrying costs, and bill for any consumption beyond that according to the rate plan.
  • edited October 2019
    I agree entirely. What SCE doesn't advertise is that you can actually *carry over* excess production to your next 12 month period, rather than get paid a pittance for it. You won't find it on the SCE website. You must call them and request it, then live with it for at least two years (iirc) before switching back, if needed. Then you can try to figure out creative ways to use your excess: Get an EV or an electric spa; charge your neighbor's EV for $.05/kWh until your anticipated excess is used up. Win-win!
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