BC Utilities Commission Decision on BC Hydro Net Metering Program Amendment Application

The long-awaited verdict regarding the proposed changes has been posted by the BCUC this past weekend. In brief, the decision boils-down to 3 key points…

  1. BC Hydro Net Metering Program participants are no longer restricted in the size of the solar energy system they choose install.
    For the past 2 years, BC Hydro has been restricting new systems to a system size that balanced its energy generation to the energy consumption of the home or business. This is no longer the case.
  2. Surplus energy generated on an annual basis will be paid-out at a rate determined by the Mid-C Wholesale Rate.
    This means an end to the 9.99 cents/kWh fixed rate that NM participants had been receiving for excess energy. While a certain reduction in the pay-out rate is not what NM customers want to hear, the good news is that the rate paid for excess energy will rise with the overall price of energy over time (the 9.99 cents was fixed). This is also the reason why NM customers are now allowed to install larger systems than their own consumption would offset.
  3. Anniversary Date Automatically March 1st
    This means you can install in September if you wish, and have a March anniversary date for kWh credit payout that optimizes your annual balance. You can edit your anniversary date once if desired.
    Up until now, you would not want to have an installation date too late in the summer – this would mean paying-out your summer production credits at 9.99 cents (or the new rate), instead of having those credits applied to your dark winter months’ tier-2 rates (upwards of 14 cents).

For a full read of the BCUC’s decision, click here.

For a full description of the verdict and its impact on the BC Net Metering community, read the BC Sustainable Energy Association article.

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