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How does my excess Solar Power go back to PG&E

Today for about 4 hours after charging up my PW's, I am feeding approximately 5kWh according the the Tesla App. How does that power returned back into my PG&E account. Is my smart meter actually running in reverse? Does the smart meter track the usage based on forward and backward? So at the end of the year the Smart Meter will either have forward balance or a reverse balance. I am trying to understand exactly how I get full utilization of returning power to the grid. Can someone help me understand how this works.



  • The smart meter monitors both inflow and outflow, usually in 5-minute increments (power used over 5 minutes). The data is then wirelessly sent to the utility. I find the data going to the utility from the smart meter can be several days delayed, but accurate when it arrives. The utility then saves the data to bill monthly and summarize the year with a final accounting. The Tesla app shows real-time data, but might not be quite as accurate. Likely +/- 1% or so.
  • Go to your utility website, and if you haven't done so already, create an account for your home. There's probably gobs of interesting information available there.

    It's likely that you can see your utility net usage in great detail. Notice that it is "net" usage, in that you'll only see (on the utility site) what has passed through the utility meter. It doesn't account for your solar production that was consumed directly by your house, that never saw the meter. It's a good idea to compare the net numbers from your utility, with the numbers on the Tesla app, to insure that they reasonably agree. Those numbers will be associated with the transmission line graphic on the app's Power Flow screen. They probably won't be exactly the same as the utility, but should be within a percent or two.
  • Hi RLSolar: It depends on where you live. In California people with solar with battery backup are only allowed to send power to the grid from excess solar. That is, we are not allowed to send stored electricity from our Powerwalls to the grid.

    Similarly, we are only allowed to recharge our powerwalls from solar (not from the grid) . . . unless the National Weather Service declares a storm watch for our zip code which they rarely do. On the northern California coast where we had 42 events (aka, power outages) over the last 12 months, it makes it very tricky to ever use Powerwalls for anything but emergency outages (or you risk having drained batteries during the next power outage). I was told by Tesla that we need to get the National Weather Service to declare our area as under storm watch (instead of standby). We are working on it!
  • TeslaTap is always right. I'm in a PGE service area with a PowerWall. I can't find electric detail usage online in my PGE account. I only get it by mail monthly, in detail only an accountant would love. Maybe killing trees is better than burning oil? Annually if it is "plus" you owe money based on time of use charges, if it is "negative" you get nothing. Gotta love PGE, need I provide a /Sarc?

    WRT "I am trying to understand exactly how I get full utilization of returning power to the grid" You can try to use "Advanced" settings on the Tesla App and set time of day schedules, but I simply use "Self-powered" with a reserve setting I am comfortable with, life is short.
  • @billstanton - Wish I was always right :) Thanks.
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