You may have heard that Rocky Mountain Power is changing its net metering policy. There's a lot of information floating around that sounds a little complicated. Here's what you need to know.
Existing customers will be grandfathered in to the current net metering program. Net metering will continue to be credit-for-credit for your system until the end of 2035. After 2035, you will be credited a rate that will be determined in a solar rate case during the next few years. If you've been tempted to add more panels to your system, now is the time. Adding additional panels to your system requires a new Net Meter Agreement. If this is submitted after November 15, you will be subject to the new meter meter agreement for your entire system, not just your additional panels. Let us help you get the same net metering benefits out of your new panels as your current ones.
Now Until November 15, 2017
In the agreement reached with Rocky Mountain Power, new solar customers who sign up for solar between now and November 15, 2017 will be grandfathered in to the existing net metering program, receiving a kWh-for-kWh credit for any excess power you produce and send back to the grid to be used later until the end of 2035.
The new policy, going into effect on November 16, 2017, changes how much solar users are compensated for kWh they generate from their panels and send back to the grid. Instead of a credit-for-credit policy, solar customers will receive an "export credit" of 9.2 cents for every kWh they deliver to the utility grid, about 90% the retail rate of an average kWh*.
Getting solar will still make sense -- the return on investment will just take a little longer. Any power you generate through your solar that you immediately use isn't affected by the policy change. Whatever you use "behind the meter" (in other words, what doesn't get sent to the grid) you use without any utility involvement.
*kWh hours cost different amounts at different times of day, at different times of the year, and are dependent on how much you have used in a month. Given all those factors, the current average retail cost of a kWh is about 10.2 cents.
Under the new policy, commercial customers will be compensated about 92% the value of a kWh, compared to a direct one-for-one credit under the current net metering policy. Commercial customers also have until November 15, 2017, to complete their net metering application to be grandfathered in under the current net metering policy.
In the News
Here are some news articles about the net metering settlement.