Net metering is a billing method that gives a credit to residential rooftop solar customers for the electricity they produce and add back into the power grid.
When rooftop solar customers don’t use all of the solar energy their panels produce, that energy flows into the power grid and Rocky Mountain Power credits them at a set rate determined by the Utah Public Service Commission. Currently that credit is 3 times higher than the price Rocky Mountain Power pays for energy – including energy from larger solar facilities – to deliver to all residential customers.
Yes. Rocky Mountain Power is a leader in growing renewable energy in Utah, and was recently recognized as 3rd in the nation for solar growth. We agree customers should be compensated for the excess energy they provide back to the power grid. We invite you to read our FAQ section to better understand Rocky Mountain Power’s proposed changes.
In November 2016, Rocky Mountain Power filed a proposed change to net metering rates with the Utah Public Service Commission for new rooftop solar customers in Utah. The Utah Public Service Commission will ultimately decide what rates are appropriate.
Rocky Mountain Power does not earn any additional profit from this change. The benefit of the change would ensure rates charged to customers without rooftop solar panels are not raised.
Other utilities in Utah and elsewhere have made or proposed similar changes to net metering programs, including those that serve St. George, Logan, Bountiful and Provo. These municipal utilities don’t earn profits, but share concerns about cost-shifting from rooftop solar customers to those who can’t or choose not to have their own rooftop systems.
Subsidies at the federal and state levels, and very favorable rates paid to rooftop solar customers have helped rooftop solar get off the ground and grow exponentially. Now that rooftop solar is an established industry, many state and local governments, and utilities, are looking at what level of support makes sense going forward. The rooftop solar industry, like the utility industry and others, will need to evolve business models to adapt to changing circumstances in the energy marketplace.
Other states have adopted changes that forced all customers to pay a higher rate, including existing solar customers. Rocky Mountain Power is only proposing changes to new customers. We acknowledge current customers made investments based on the current structure and respect the need for reasonable certainty on these investments. The company has proposed a new rate that would still allow new rooftop solar customers to save about 35 percent on their bills, on average, while eliminating the subsidy paid by other customers without rooftop solar.
The study does recognize the benefits of rooftop solar, which is why the proposal would still credit net metering customers for excess power at rates that are more than twice the price that Rocky Mountain Power can acquire solar from large solar farms.