Solar net metering policies vary across the country. In some states, solar homeowners are credited the full retail rate for excess electricity sent to the utility grid, but in others, the energy is credited at a lower rate — or not at all.
Currently, 38 states have mandatory solar net energy metering (NEM) rules. How does your Intermountain West state weigh in?
If you live in Colorado, you’ll earn full-price credit for all the electricity your home solar system generates and sends to the utility grid. NEM credits don’t expire in this Intermountain West state — they roll over from month to month.
At the end of the year, if you’ve got a surplus, you can either ask the utility company for a check or continue rolling the credits over.
The solar net metering law in Utah requires the Rocky Mountain Power utility company to provide credit for excess electricity sent to the grid. Your NEM credit rate depends upon when you adopted home solar power — only customers who applied before the middle of November 2017 are eligible for the full retail rate through the end of 2035. Other customers are credited at a slightly lower rate.
In Nevada, a recent net metering policy ruling kept the credit for excess solar electricity at the full retail rate — at least for homeowners who qualify under the grandfather clause. Other solar customers will have a $25 minimum bill to offset utility costs and will be credited under a revised rate structure.
But the governor is working with a task force on a reform plan, so the NEM policy is far from set in stone.
Wyoming investor-owned utility companies and electric co-ops are required to offer solar net metering, but no rate is specified. Some offer the full retail rate for solar electricity, while others provide wholesale NEM credit. At the end of the year, any surplus is paid out at a reduced rate.
Idaho has no solar net metering laws in place. Despite this, all three of the investor-owned utility companies here offer their own independent NEM programs. Excess electricity generated by solar panel systems is credited at the full retail rate in all the programs, but depending upon your utility company, any end-of-year surplus may revert to the utility company with no compensation.
Net metering policies in the Intermountain West states are constantly changing, as we’ve recently seen in Utah and Nevada. You can always check the status of the net metering policies in your state on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE), or check with your local electric utility provider.
The professional team at Intermountain Wind & Solar, the region’s leading photovoltaic contractor for over a decade, can design an efficient, effective home solar system that meets your energy needs and monetary goals, even if your state’s solar net metering policy changes. To learn more, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.