Distributed Generation (DG), also referred to as Retail Generation, applies to customers who install generators interconnected to the grid to reduce the amount of power they purchase from the utility.
Interconnection options for Distributed Generation:
- The customer’s generator is the primary power source and PG&E supplies power when the generator cannot supply some or all of the customer’s needs.
- Peak Shaving/Demand Management is when the customer’s generator is operated primarily to reduce the customer’s demand (and cost) at "peak" pricing periods when electric rates are highest.
- Net Energy Metering is a type of distributed generation that allows customers with an eligible power generator to offset the cost of their electric usage with energy they export to the grid.
Any of these options may also include “cogeneration,” where the generator also recaptures “waste heat” or thermal energy. Thermal applications include industrial processes, heating of swimming pools, absorption chilling in data centers and others.
If you are interested in applying to interconnect your generator under either of the first two options listed above, see Distributed Generation (Rule 21 Retail Generators).
Note that standby or emergency generators isolated from the grid are not Distributed Generation. If you are going to install a back up generator isolated from the grid (that is, not interconnected to the grid), please see Standby Electric Generator Safety.