Renewable Energy

Net Metering

 

Solar – Wind – Renewable Energy

house with solar panels on roofColumbia Rural Electric Association’s (REA’s) Net Energy Metering Interconnection Agreement provides for consumers/members who produce their own power, with a no larger than 100 kilowatt (kW) renewable energy facilities (such as wind or solar power). “Net”, in this context, is used in the sense of meaning “what remains after deductions” — in this case, the deduction of any energy outflows from metered energy inflows.

Columbia REA shall make available upon request net metering service to any electric consumer that the electric utility serves. The term ‘net metering service’ means service to an electric consumer under which electric energy generated by that electric consumer from an eligible and pre-approved  on-site generating facility and delivered to the local distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by the electric utility to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period.

 

How Net Metering Works

Under net metering, a system owner receives retail credit for either all or some of the electricity they generate in a year.

Net metering involves:

  • Monthly rollover of kilowatt-hour (kWh) credits from April to March*
  • Monthly payment of usage if the solar credits are less than the amount used
  • Monthly facilities and demand charges are still due (i.e. normal electric bill)

*Annual settlement of any residual credit during the previous 12 months shall be granted to Columbia REA, without any compensation to the member on March 31st of each year. Net Metering is a consumer-based, renewable energy incentive, to help offset a consumers annual on-site electrical usage and still enjoy a reliable connection to electricity when solar is unable to.

Columbia REA shall have the sole authority to determine which Interconnection requirements are applicable to member’s proposed generating facility.

For a more in depth description,  WSU previously produced a Solar Electric System Design, Operation and Installation overview which explains in detail about building and planning solar systems in WA state. This provides a solid beginning understanding, but please check with your local jurisdictions for their requirements, and other changes or requirements, that may have occurred recently, as well.

Also, The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), has a great informational website as well; a Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar .

 

 

New Installations – Columbia REA Net Metering Application

AGREEMENT

– Download the Net Metering Policy and Application (PDF) and contact Member Services at Columbia REA if you are interested in discussing your own Net Energy Interconnection Agreement at (509) 526-4041

– Download the OPTIONAL Contractor release form (page 2).

DRAWINGS

– So that Columbia REA can understand and approve your on-site generating facility, which connects and feeds electricity to our distribution system, we request in the above agreement, drawings specific to your site. These should be professional drawings, provided by your contractor, architect or engineer.

Please refer to Net Meter Drawing Samples (PDF) for examples of industry standards that communicate graphically the specifics of your system. Drawings that do not possess the standards stated, are overly simple, and or unprofessional, may not be accepted if they do not communicate the critical needs of such a system from our perspective. System safety and reliability are top priorities for Columbia REA.

PROCESS

– Please review this DOCUMENT so you will know the process with getting your renewable energy facilities and Net Meter installation, on track and installed as soon as possible.

Please note: Any electric generation system installed by a consumer themselves or otherwise, and connected to a Columbia REA electrical service, without Columbia REA approval, may lead us to disconnect that service from the Columbia REA electrical system.

 

WA State (WSU) Renewable Energy System Incentive Program

Are you interested in applying for renewable energy incentives? State funding availability varies, but Washington State University (WSU) Energy Program administers the following types of applications:

  • New Incentive Application for Residential-scale or Commercial-scale renewable energy systems
  • New Precertification Application for Shared Commercial Solar or Community Solar Project

Visit the WSU Energy Program homepage for more information and to determine current program funding.

Annual Reporting

Are you are a Columbia REA member, have solar panels or other renewal energy production systems, and have been previously approved to take advantage of the above Washington State Renewable Energy System Incentive Program?

We only assist WSU in collecting the data and distributing the funds. An annual report is required to get your WA incentive:

  • Report is due to Columbia REA annually on July 1st.
  • We will be providing a web form here, and you can enter your annual production information.
  • After June 30th, 2022, a button will appear below for you to enter your June 30th, 2022 production number.
  • No paper or emailed forms are provided or expected back.

Please contact Charlie DeSalvo for more information by calling (509) 526-4041, or by emailing Charlie.

 

 

Federal tax credits

The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief of 2020 extended the phase of the Federal Tax Credit.

An Investment Tax Credit is available on the purchase and installation cost of PV systems placed in service:

  • 30% for systems placed in service by Dec. 31, 2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after Dec. 31, 2019 and before Jan. 1, 2023
  • 22% for systems placed in service after Dec. 31, 2022 and before Jan. 1, 2024

Please contact your tax accountant for further information