In 2004, BC Hydro was planning a net metering program for residential and commercial customers. A representative explained to a public meeting:
BC Hydro has recently applied for net metering which means if you are a BC Hydro customer and have surplus power, you use what you need it and then sell the left-over power to BC Hydro. The size limit for net metering is 50 kilowatts.
In 2011, BC Hydro reported the impact of net metering was negligible. After complaints the 50 KW capacity limit for net metering customers was too low, the BC utilities Commission (BCUC) observed:
The 2012 Commission Panel was of the view that the capacity of a Net Metering installation should be driven by considerations of economically available clean energy and not by the theoretical maximum capacity a homeowner may require. Further, given the emphasis placed on electrical self‐sufficiency and clean electricity generation by BC energy policy and legislation, the 2012 Commission Panel was of the opinion that encouraging participation by lowering barriers should be of primary importance.
In 2014, BCUC determined the net-metering limit should be doubled to 100 KW.
BC Hydro reported to BCUC in 2017 that 640 accounts using net metering had capacity of 3.8 MW, an increase of more than 500% in five years. The report stated:
BC Hydro’s Net Metering customers and stakeholders tell us they are satisfied with the program and it meets their needs. We are not currently considering modifications to the Net Metering program…
That was 2017; this is 2018.
To justify Site C, BC Hydro pretended that alternatives to new hydro power were expensive and unreliable.
In fact, cheap electricity created by wind and solar frightens the utility. It’s one thing for consumers to buy zero power from the grid but it is something else if those customers are regularly selling electricity to BC Hydro.
The utility fears rapid growth in net metering because the costs of producing alternative energy, macro or micro, are declining steadily, Indeed, BC Hydro disclosed this week that 1,330 customers are now involved in net metering. That doubles the number of a year ago.
With flat demand for electricity in BC, low prices in export markets and steadily rising deliveries from independent power producers (IPPs), BC Hydro has a surplus of both electricity and generating capacity.
The average revenue for each KWh sold to BC consumers increased 84% from the final quarter of calendar year 2005 to the same quarter in 2017, more than three times the inflation rate of 25%.
Given the current impoverished state of BC’s largest utility, its prices will continue rising rapidly while improved technology almost certainly will keep the cost of alternative power declining.
With those factors, BC Hydro worries the amount of power fed to the grid by net metering participants will expand substantially. As a result, they announced this week a change so the program will not be available to customers generating power beyond their own energy needs.
BC Hydro promises a later BCUC application for further changes to net metering. That will likely impose a major reduction in the price credited consumers who feed power into the grid.
We’re told the $11 billion Site C project is needed to meet growing demand for power. Meanwhile, the Net Metering Team moves to end new sources of clean power that, unlike the Peace River project, will destroy no lands or livelihoods.
From BC Hydro’s point of view, the net metering program has faults. The unit price credited for customer generation is equivalent to the standing offer program (SOP) offered IPPs. That is about three times the price BC Hydro realizes from exporting its surplus power and is double the selling price offered to heavy industries and potential LNG producers. Nothing can be done about IPP contracts, some of which last until 2075, but homeowners are easy picking.
The program also poses a threat to the company’s current and planned construction program. BC Hydro could not continue spending billions on new generating and transmission capacity when power can be produced without capital expenditure within the markets where it is used.
A 10 kwp solar pv system on your BC household rooftop costs $27.5k, generates 11,000 kwhrs of electricity/yr, about 60% of the power for a big house, for about $137/month amortized over 25 yrs. BCHydro charges you $130/month for the same. #bcpoli
— balirand (@trivcap) April 21, 2018
Note: At my house, we’ve averaged 1,000 KWh a month and paid BC Hydro $120 monthly, including all charges.
H/T to Motorcycle Guy for drawing my attention to the net metering subject.
What is good for General Bullmoose is good for the country. So say the Neanderthals that populate the board rooms and policy committees of our public services in BC. The sooner the NDP MLAs remove the clones of Campbell, Clark, Coleman and company, the sooner the public services of BC will return to serving Jane and Joe Lunchbucket.
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Common cents must be too expensive these days.
BCHydro is a rogue corporation untethered by the BCUC, Government and social ethical concerns.
Unless the BCUC and Michelle Mungall shape up NOW, we will continue to be held hostage by this Koch-type company. Let the BCUC and Mungall hear from all.
Horgan’s legacy will have similarities with Ms. Christy Clark’s. Sad that he chose to leave so many policies unchanged. Many of us thought he had some grand vision. Oh well….we now know better.
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Wasn’t the billion dollar “smart meter” program sold to a gullible public (among other reasons) as a “net metering” tool?
And now that people and businesses are jumping on the bandwagon in large, financially threatening numbers, ………. its no longer “useful”?
But Hydro has no problem paying foreign companies exorbitant non market rates for “run of river” power?
If Ontario’s exorbitant electricity rates are any example of our power rate future in BC…… people and (more importantly), businesses will have several options. Leave, invest in alternate private power supplies, recession.
Either way. none of these options help Hydro’s bottom line.
And even if BC Hydro stops net metering it will still be cheaper in the long run for individuals and businesses to invest in solar/wind power.
One wonders when BC Hydro will turn its lawyers and beaurocrats attention to the real “culprit” and try and outlaw the sun and the wind?
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Horgan’s vision is Megg’s vision. It is Megg’s who is de facto premier and Horgan the mouthpiece. So bloody disappointed.
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This same sort of thing happened in Nevada but the power utility lobbied the State Government to stop any future private solar power hook-ups. Reason? The utility wasn’t making the profit that they had been come accustomed to.
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And that’s the main reason I’ve been reluctant to ‘take advantage’ of Hydro’s net metering programme. I’m fearful that they will outlaw it after I’m hooked in, which just means I’ll have to resort to a battery powered backup system. And I’ll do it, just to spite Chrispy and cohorts. My power bill current runs about $60/month so its not cost effective but I expect it soon will be.
CANCEL SITE C!!!
So as hydro rates rise it makes more and more sense to have a net-metering project, even if it’s only to offset your own power use. Especially as the cost of solar panels comes down.
Meaning even less need for power from the $10 billion ALR land-flooding Site C dam.
I imagine the solar panel installers will be ticked off about this. There are many well-paying sleep-at-home jobs on the line, if this carries through and demand for installations softens.
There are so many roofs and south-facing walls in the Lower Mainland, that Site C’s output could easily be eclipsed with solar panels that could produce energy at or close to the consumer. This means far less energy lost in transmission and less need for Hydro infrastructure.
On the other hand, I got a quote on an installation for my house and the installer used a figure of 9.99¢ per kWh for Hydro’s use of any excess energy from a private solar installation. The predicted pay-back time of 15 years gave me cold feet, so I didn’t bite.
It has long been held by Norm Farrell and many readers here (myself included) that Hydro should not be buying high-priced power when they could be making it themselves or buying it on the wholesale market for far less.
Can we fairly criticize the IPP program but applaud homeowners who are mini-IPP owners? It would seem to me that ALL of Hydro’s private power purchase agreements need a massive re-write.
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Yes, I think we can fairly criticize the IPP program and still applaud homeowners. Homeowners (by and large) live at home. The money paid stays in our communities and could significantly lessen the burden of ownership in many areas of BC. IPP’s are owned by out of province pension and hedge funds, with associated export of profits and high environmental impact. No need to pay an inordinate amount for the net metering program because long term profit is not the motive, merely recoup of expenses. Heck, some homeowners might even have an environmental and financial “for the long-term good of the province” bent to do their part.
Yes it means some fancy technological footwork to balance the loads, however we have the engineering capability to do it, and we could even promote advanced study and employment in this area such that BC Hydro regains its place as one of the most respected utilities in the world. Until the current (pun intended this time) government shows some gumption and replaces the Christy Clark BC Hydro Board of Governors it will be “no soup for you” as far as I am concerned. I have been waiting since before Christmas for month end geo-tech reports from Site C that show actual progress and/or problems encountered, not to mention employment figures for BC resident Red Seal journeymen and number of apprentices brought on board.
Why are we still dealing with secrecy? Perhaps a reader here can find the latest 5 (or 6?) IPP projects that were approved under the “current” government, as far as I know they are new projects and not renewals. Find it on the BC Hydro website you say, because it is right next to the section that displays what you and I are paying to IPP’s? Ha.
Bring back pride of ownership of BC Hydro.
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In the last six months, the cost of electricity in my home (including basic charge, rate rider, transit tax and GST) averaged a little over 12¢ per KWh. And, the price just went up 3%, an amount not nearly enough to cover BC Hydro’s real cost increases. Significant price rises are a certainty.
So, if I were calculating the payback period for an alternative supply of electricity, I’d use at least 15¢ per KWh for grid power avoided and 10¢ per KWh for electricity fed to the grid.
Remember that the net metering program offsets consumption on an annual basis. If your production exceeds your consumption in month #1, the net credit carries over to month #2. Once you get down to the winter months, you start using up those credits. If you have a balance at the end of the year, then they pay you out at $0.099. But, up until that time, your solar or wind is offsetting your most expensive power first. This proposed change is just a way for them to avoid cutting a cheque at the end of the year. BTW, if you read this math properly, you will note that it is advantageous to install & commission your solar power system in the spring, so you amass credits through the summer. No good to have BC Hydro cut you a cheque (or not) in September on a late commissioning anniversary and leave you heading into November with no KWH credits.
One last thing… the smart meters track inflows & outflows same as the old ones, but these new ones can be set-up to manage ‘time-of-use’ billing too… ie there will come a day very soon when you will pay $0.30 to run your laundry at 6pm.
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there is a big difference between “mini IPP providers” and the “big corporate IPPs”. One is the rates, two is where the profit goes. The big IPPs el gordo signed agreements with, those profits leave the province. The “mini IPP providers”, well it pays for their installation and keeps others working installing them.
The corporate IPPs are referred to also as run of the river and that hasn’t helped the rivers or the fish. It would be best to pull them out of the rivers and restore them.
In my opinion, the corporate IPPs were established to make money for corporate interests who then provided funding for the re election of B.C. Lieberals.
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Just wait G. Barry Stewart. I see Hydro cancelling that 9.99 cents very soon. And then making it against the law to hook up at all.
Hi Barry, the installer was wrong about the 9.99 / kWh. Most of the power would be credited at your current BCH rate (almost $0.14 / kWh if you are in the 2nd tier). A good example of why you should work with a more experienced installer.
However, they were right about the pay-back – it is usually at least 15 years.
From Hydro’s April 1, 2017 pdf on net metering rates at http://www.bchydro.com/content/dam/BCHydro/customer-portal/documents/corporate/regulatory-planning-documents/integrated-resource-plans/current-plan/schedule-1289-net-metering-service.pdf
For all electricity represented by the Generation Credit Balance remaining
in the Customer’s Generation Account at any Anniversary Date,
BC Hydro will pay 9.99 per kWh.”
A selling point made in my quote from the solar installer: “• Displace a certain load, like an electric car (1kW solar = 5000km driving)”
If the average Canadian car travels 20,000 km per year (and e-cars probably far less), 50 kW of excess energy could power 250,000 km of travel, or at least 12.5 neighbours’ e-cars for an entire year. That’s STILL a significant amount of energy.
(Just trying to “Keep it Real” until Harvey O. comes back from his holidays and gets back to blogging. ;~)
There are few plug-in only vehicles for sale and all have barriers for most drivers. Tesla models now available cost from $100,000 to $200,000. Small Chev Bolts run more than $50,000. Others like eGolf, Soul and Leaf, if you can find them, approach $50,000 and are not suitable for many drivers.
Most EVs sold in Canada are hybrids and few take power from the grid. Many conventional cars have gained 30% more efficiency in the last decade and Mazda’s soon to be offered compression-ignition gasoline engines promise another 20-30% gain.
The prospect of a large fleet of plug-in electrics anytime soon is imagined by Site C proponents but the dream is not reflected in new car showrooms. Tesla is having trouble delivering its Model 3 and the “affordable” model is turning out not to be affordable. Consumer Reports testers bought a Model 3 and the car that was promised at $35,000 (C$45,000) cost them $59,000 (C$75,000).
I’ve considered an electric vehicle but there is not one that suits our needs and is affordable. I don’t expect that to change in the immediate future.
All electric vehicles just aren’t good for our climate. Too much range is lost with heat and defrost and cool ambient temperatures. Hybrid are very good with very, very efficient and relatively clean internal combustion engines, regenerative braking, great range, etc. If ICBC would listen to me and allow us to insure more than one vehicle on a policy you can be certain to see an increase in sales and use of smaller, efficient vehicles (did I mention motorcycles?). Big vehicles would get left at home for the odd time they are needed. Less congestion, less pollution, less fossil fuel use….and….less electricity use. A topic for another day could be, just how efficient is SkyTrain technology anyways? Maybe that is not the best use of electricity either. We already know it is not the most efficient use of money.
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I wasn’t meaning to debate the cost or practicality of e-cars, just pointing out that if a homeowner’s solar (or wind) power bank was producing 50kW of capacity, that’s pretty serious power generation.
(I’m impressed with the Nissan Leaf, though, and might be in the market for a used 2018 model in a few years. I test drove a 2015 model and liked everything but the range limit — which has now been greatly improved.)
I may have been mis-reading that the 50 kW limit was for excess power. Perhaps Hydro is looking at limiting the total set-up to 50kW, which a power-hungry homeowner might use much of, especially if they have an e-car or two.
The quote I got in 2016 was ~$25,000 for a 9.6 kW panel array. I figured if we went with all-LED lighting (we’re getting there) and did away with a clothes dryer, we MIGHT be a net-exporter of electricity in a good year.
Net-metering to supply only your own needs – your own needs could include power for an electric car, reducing the use of fossil fuel.
I’m sure B.C.. Hydro wants the small providers to go away, because eventually a whole lot of smalls make one big large and that won’t work for the corporate strategists at B.C. Hydro and elsewhere.
What I like about the small local IPPs, is the electricity is sourced locally. Now for some, its: who cares. We live in a very large province and those electrical dams are a long way from where most of us live. In a catastrophic event, we would be faced with little to no electricity, i.e. forest fire, dam collapse, earth quake. with small local providers, you could possibly keep things like your local hospital, fire station, sewage system working.
It is time some one in the current government gives B.C. Hydro’s B of D. and other corporate officials a frank and open “chat”. sort of like, we are the new government and we want things done this way or you can all hit the highway.
I don’t agree with the dam dam but I think I know why Horgan decided to keep it going. We also need to keep the small IPP providers going and keep it at a rate which will encourage more. If for no other reason but electrical security.
One has to wonder who is giving Horgan advise. IS it Meggs, is it B.C. Hydro execs? It sure isn’t the green party. Given what is being done currently regarding these small IPP providers it is interesting we haven’t heard from Mr. Weaver……..you’d think this was something he could get behind, but as I’ve always opinioned, he is just a B.C. Lieberal in an academic shabby jacket.
Related to this:
I’m curious to know if anyone else attended or remotely watched the Thursday evening forum on Site C at UBC. I’m still puzzled by one of Mark Jaccard’s points. He really emphasized that Site C’s “dispatchable” power is more valuable than the interruptible power from solar or wind. And he indicated that the value of this interruptible power decreases as it makes up a greater proportion of the overall grid supply.
This all makes sense, but what puzzles me is that our provincial grid is already ~ 90% hydro, so surely we’d be in a good position to incorporate quite a lot of interruptible power from new types of cheaper renewable sources. So Site C’s very expensive additional capacity would appear to be a poor choice for the next increment to the existing mix.
This seemed like such an obvious thing to ask about, so I was surprised that nobody did!
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Hi Norm, Excellent post. But I do take exception with one point. Regarding their next submission later this year you state, “That will likely impose a major reduction in the price credited consumers…”
But the credit is not based on a “price.” The credit is applied per kWh. The value could be one of three different tariffs for commercial customers, two tiers for residential customers or an two additional tiers if you are in zone 2.
Now BCH could decide to apply a lower value price to this credit but that would be administratively difficult (or least expensive). It would also open up a regulatory can of worms.
The only set “price” under the net-metering program is the $ 0.099 applied to net excess after the anniversary date. But that price has now been effectively eliminated under the current submission.
I think the most likely request for the second submission will be a complete end to the program. We have heard this rumour coming out of BCH. I just didn’t expect it to come so quickly.
To me, the idea of every house having solar panels (where the sunlight exposure is right) is about like every yard having a vegetable garden.
Regarding the garden (which I have): it’s a good, healthy hobby — but there’s no way it can compete with even a small scale farm on efficiency. A pack of seeds is around $3.00 and if you buy the plant starters from the nursery, you’d better hope they all survive. $2.00 for six lettuce starters?! Then there’s the water, tools and fertilizer.
Similarly, we could have better efficiencies with larger scale solar arrays on rooftops of schools or warehouses. I like the idea of people taking the $15K to $25K they’d put into a rooftop system on their house and putting it into a community-funded array on a bigger building.
The co-op could get better bang for the buck and the homeowner wouldn’t have to monitor and tend to the system. Roof rent would be paid and power would be sold to the people under the roof, with excess going to the grid. Profits would be shared with investors — especially after the system was paid off. (Of course, some like the independence of a home-based system.)
I’m sensing the time for such a scheme is not here yet…
Actually the time for that scheme to start was over 2 years ago.: http://solshare.ca There are already 2 cooperatively owned plants built. And more two come (or maybe not with these changes).
When I was a kid in the UK (circa 1960’s), the national electricity board promoted the installation of block storage radiators, based on their use of cheap “off peak” electricity during the night. As soon as the nation was suitably induced and thoroughly committed, guess what? No more “off peak” rates. Everyone was forced to pay full freight for their energy guzzling electric heat. Lesson learned maybe…
Fast forward to BC in more modern times, when I used to brag to my old dad about cheap BC Hydro @6cents per KW…as soon as I de-commissioned my forced air oil furnace & switched to electric baseboard heat, up went the cost! Funny thing. El Gordo & IPP’s reared their ugly head out of left field.
It is not unreasonable to expect price increases for energy, over time, considering inflation, cost of needed infrastructure etc. But for public utilities, originally engineered for the public good, to essentially gerrymander (over priced,) unneeded expansion in the face of innovative alternatives is positively corrupt and borderline criminal.
No matter the title above the door of any bureaucracy, the primary interest of said bureaucracy is one of survival, if not expansion at any cost. So goes BC Hydro.
Love him or not, I do not think this is what W.A.C. Bennett had in mind, indigenous and other significant matters aside…(not to be ignored).
Thanks for that info, b5. I have sent them a note, for more info.
They say on their next sale of shares, the minimum will be $1,000 (down from $2,000) with hopes to eventually go as low as $50 — which would let virtually any investor get started. Dividends are in the 3.3% per year range.
This move by Hydro, announced by Norm, might throw cold water on their plans, though. We’ll see.
Remember that all pulp and paper mills required cheap hydro. The nice folks that held private forest lands and tenured lands were usually non residents of BC and corporate friends of the Socreds. Yes that is what he had in mind !
Limiting how much electricity Hydro will buy from citizens flies in the face of reason. Hydro should be running WITH the current and not upstream. Running with the current would see Hydro champion domestic energy production and do wothout Site C.
By encouraging roof top pv arrays, it passes on many liabilities to the public. In turn the public gets reasonable electrical rates that are rate increase-proof. In the event of an earthquake a decentralized grid would be beneficial. Also it would create an entire cottage industry in commercial generation as due to the ability to ramp up or down production at a reasonable cost (as opposed to having to wait until a mega-project is competed to realize output) This system is far more secure to infrastructure malfunctioning or sabotage. This arrangement will spawn industry start ups right across Canada! Installers, point of sales, technology through advanced R&D.
Hydro may be involved leasing space on people’s roofs or new companies can lease (or lease to buy) to consumers. I would recommend gov’t assistance through programs. It will redfine Hydro into an energy management entity over time. We have existing infrastructure to carry the peaks and shortcomings. This is democratic power.
All this is possible. It just takes political will, a gov’t who will reject the new status quo of pandering to BigOil and actually serve the people he/she represents. It would be a true investment in Canada. It could be a global gem to emulate if done correctly. It would also put Canada right in the limelight of global respect, which is somewhere our current PM said we’d be in Paris.
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Well said Dan. If only we could get Mr. Horgan to listen.
It appears we have an NDP government in sheep’s clothing. Horgan is really a closet Liberal and the rest of the NDP sheep in the legislature are selling there souls to stay and seat warm until they are kicked out.
If the NDP really wanted to change the rape and pillage of BC they would have hit the ground running, like Dave Barrett did, and introduce legislation to change things around for the better of the unwashed.
It ain’t going to happen people until Horgan is sucked into the corporate world and someone with some intelligence and backbone takes over.
David Eby would be a good choice.
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You should read about the “Nessie Curve” in Hawaii where rooftop solar is making it very, very difficult to manage the grid.
You should read something more current about how utilities can adapt to renewables, particularly ones like BC Hydro that produce almost all of their power from hydro dams where generation can be almost instantly ramped up or down.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reports that different combinations of supply- and demand-side options can allow greater system reliability and flexibility with high penetrations of variable generation. They say this involves adding energy storage and, of course, BC’s large existing reservoirs provide all the storage we need for introduction of a significant amount of renewables.
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The inverters in solar PV systems are now built to the California/Hawaii-driven standard for being able to provide grid stability functionality. Add to this the falling cost of lithium storage, and it further erodes the need for traditional coal/gas/reservoir generation to be able to ramp up/down on a dime.
The case of Mr Musk providing MWh-sized lithium storage to Australia to stabilize their grid is an excellent current events example…
We may not like what Premier. Horgan has done with Site C, however to “unelect” him would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face. the government he leads is doing a whole lot more stuff than just dealing with B.C. Hydro and Site C. there is still the small matter of social issues, like welfare, seniors pensions, hospitals, schools, you know the usual stuff governments are responsible for. As much as I don’t like Premier Horgan’s decision regarding Site C I won’t change my vote. I remember all those years of Socred and B.C. Lieberal governments going back to the 1950s.
Now as to Mr. Eby, last time the party checked he wasn’t interested and Mr. Eby has a much more important role in the current government and may well have in future governments, rooting out the mess the previous government made of things. It may go on for years. If Mr. Eby were Premier, who do you think would do the work he is doing.
when deciding on a government and/or party leader there is much to be taken into consideration. It isn’t just a one issue thing.
Unless one knows all the NDP MLA’s one ought not to suggest they are all “sheep”.
Yes, Dave B. hit the ground running with Williams and the rest of the gang. They lasted 36 months and the NDP didn’t form government again until 1991. Do you really remember what went on in this province in the intervening years? I do and I would not want to go back to that ever again, even if it means having Site C.
No government is perfect and not all governments are going to do everything you want. Does any one think Christy was going to get rid of Site C? So why vote the NDP and Horgan out of office? It would simply put the B.C. Lieberals and Wilkinson into office. If you want to see what type of people they are and Wilkinson is, go have a read of RossK’s latest post on The Gazetteer.
For those who think the Greens would make a better government, have a very close look at their leader before you drink the cool aid.
Thanks for a very informative article, and thanks to everyone who has made comments. As a NABCEP Cetrified PV Installation Professional who recently relocated to B.C. from Utah to continue my career in renewable energy I am deeply concerned with the stance B.C. Hydro is taking on net metering. I never recommend to my customers that they exceed a 100% offset with their systems so the announcement last Friday doesn’t worry me on that level. I am very worried about what seems like a unilateral decision made by the utility without much concern for approval by the BCUC. I’ve experienced the hostility and contention between the solar industry and entrenched utilities in the U.S. and the successes and failures in those political battles. It would appear that I will need to continue fighting for my job here in B.C. To that end I might ask you Norm, would you please write another follow up to this article? I’m beginning to hear from customers that have read portions of this article (and not the comments) who are coming away with the understanding that there is no more net metering at all and they no longer want to install solar. I’m doing my best to explain the net metering announcement to people one by one but you have the ability to communicate with a much larger audience. The title of your article, while making a statement, is actually hurting the industry as a whole. People need to know that choosing solar is still a viable option and that if they don’t exceed their own needs the net metering program is still going to benefit them. Thanks for your help.
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Norm – your article is dated April 20, 2018. BC Hydro published their net metering guide the same day https://www.bchydro.com/content/dam/BCHydro/customer-portal/documents/corporate/regulatory-planning-documents/integrated-resource-plans/current-plan/amended-rate-schedule-1289-net-metering-apppendix-b.pdf and it seem,s toindicate the program is still in effect for new customers – albeit it looks like they reduced it to 50kW again. Do you have a link from them or the government that shows this “As a result, they announced this week a change so the program will not be available to customers generating power beyond their own energy needs.”
Under most NEM policies in the U.S., a customer-sited generator (typically a rooftop solar PV system) produces energy where a portion is used behind the meter to serve the customer’s load and excess energy is delivered to the grid; the excess energy (kWh) delivered to the grid is effectively “sold” to the utility at the average retail rate as those kWh credits are netted against the customer’s usage later in the day when the sun is not shining or even a future month or year. Most NEM policies allow the customer to carryover kWh credits indefinitely. The fact that the kWh credits are carried over guarantee the net metering customer receives whatever the retail price of electricity is, not a fixed rate at the time of generation.