Last updated: 09/05/13

Net Metering in Texas

As you learned in our Solarize Plano Project information meetings, an important consideration to obtain the maximum long term benefit from a distributed PV solar system installed on your home or business is the availability of net metering rate plans. (See background information below.)

To find Retail Electric Providers (REPs) in North Texas that offer net metering like rate plans, go to the webpage listed below of the Power to Choose website

Additional information about Renewable Power in Texas can be found on the Renewable Power section of the Power to Choose website

Enrollees are encouraged to contact their current REP and ask for information about their net metering “like” plans.  If your current REP does not offer this type of plan, you are encouraged to tell them you probably will be switching to a REP that does of this type of plan.

Background

Net metering ensures that electric customers who generate their own power get credit for each kilowatt-hour of excess electricity they deliver to the grid. These credits can then be used by the customer to offset power they purchase from the utility at other times. In other words, when they generate more than they need: they get net metering bill credits. When they need more than they generate: they can use those credits to lower their power bills. This simple  billing arrangement can make a significant impact on the economic viability of an investment in renewable energy. To learn more about net metering, see http://freeingthegrid.org and Additional Information on Distributed Generation and Net Metering

Most states (about 43) have statewide policies requiring electric utilities to provide net metering. As of now, Texas IS NOT one of those 43 states. We encourage citizens to contact their respective state legislators and urge them to establish statewide net metering policies.

Our Request

A. Submit a complaint/upgrade request to the www.powertochoose.org website to add a search feature to make it possible to find net metering type rate plans.  To accomplish this, go to this website - http://powertochoose.org/en-us/Content/ContactUs - and submit a request similar to this:

Reason for Contact: Complaint

Email address: <enter your email address>

Subject: Distributed Generation sell back or net metering type rate plans

As more distributed generation PV solar is being deployed across Texas, we need the powertochoose website to provide a search/filter alongside the other search/filters so that net metering type rate plans can be found and easily compared to other rate plans.  When will you have this feature available?

Thanks,

<provide your name>

B. Contact your current REP and (1) tell them you are participating in the Solarize Plano Project, (2) you are going to install a PV solar system, and (3) you want them to provide you with information for their best rate plans that include net metering features.  Ask them to provide you a link to this information so that we can share it with other participants of the Solarize Plano Project. If they don’t offer any net metering “like” rate plans, then:

  1. Ask them where does the excess electricity go that you are occasionally providing to the grid? Who uses it? Who gets paid for it?
  2. Then, indicate to them that since you don’t really want to provide free electricity to them, you will be switching to another REP that offers a net metering type plan after your PV solar system is installed.  Note - It is not necessary to immediately switch to a net metering type plan for your PV solar system to operate.  However, if you do plan to immediately switch, some of our participants have had the cancellation fees of their current rate plan waived by asking and making the point that they wouldn’t be switching if their current REP provided a net metering type plan.

If information links are provided by your REP, please share them with us so that we can post the links on the Solarize Plano Projection Communications area of our website.