Self Generation Changes
Net Energy Metering (NEM) was mandated by the state of California and allows solar customers to remain fully connected to the power grid and receive a credit on their bill for all excess energy sent back to the grid. NEM+ is the next generation of this effort to continue to the adoption of solar. As we prepare to launch the next step of this program, we’re giving customers an opportunity to share their thoughts.
What is Self-Generation/NEM?
Net Energy Metering (NEM) is a robust program that allows RPU’s solar customers to remain fully connected the power grid and receive a credit on their bill for all excess energy sent back to the grid. RPU’s program has been tremendously successful and has resulted in over 4,700 homes and businesses installing solar and reducing the utility’s reliance on grid supplied energy. Self-Generation is RPU’s next phase of this program to continue to growth the adoption of solar and other customer-owned renewable energy resources, while benefiting all of City’s electric customers.
Self-Generation Proposed Changes & Timing
- New RPU solar customers will see an easier and more streamlined process
- Accounts will be settled monthly so customers will see the immediate impact of their solar investments
- Utility solar agreements and separate solar production meters will no longer be required
- Increased maximum solar system size will be allowed
- Changes could take place by Summer 2022 based on feedback received
Proposed Impact to Rates
- No changes will be made to current RPU customers with solar served under the Self Generation program, unless they move or get a new systems
- For new RPU solar customers, energy sent back to the grid will be compensated at the approved buy back rate, which may vary by time of use periods
Why Are We Proposing These Changes?
- Continue to make self-generation easily accessible across our community
- Ensure that self-generation continues to grow sustainably and equitably
- Streamline the solar building process
- Make the process more transparent and easier to understand
- Lower our dependance on fossil fuels
- Position our community to take full advantage of new and future technology
As you're researching solar energy, there may be some new terms to learn. Here are a few of the most used terms around solar electrical systems and their use.
NEM or Net Energy Metering is a rate option which RPU allows customers to use the grid like a battery for the energy generated by their system. For most families, this is an advantage because during the day while everyone is at work or school, solar panels are producing energy and feeding it back into the grid, earning credits.
Time-of-use rates fall within the broader category of innovative rate structures that adjust the rate customers pay for electricity over the course of the day. These types of rate structures, commonly referred to as time-varying-rates, frequently follow a similar pattern. At times when both the cost of generating electricity and demand for electricity are low (i.e., in the middle of the night), the rate paid to use electricity is very low. However, at times when both the cost of generation and demand for electricity are high (i.e., the afternoon or evening of a hot summer day), the rate of electricity is much higher.
An electrical grid, electric grid or power grid, is an interconnected network for delivering electricity from producers to consumers. It consists of generating stations that produce electric power; electrical substations for stepping electrical voltage up for transmission, or down for distribution; high voltage transmission lines that carry power from distant sources to demand-centers; and local distribution systems to deliver power to customers.
Avoided Cost of Energy
The cost that the utility avoids by purchasing power from a qualifying facility rather than generating power itself or purchasing it from another source.
The symbol kWh stands for kilowatt-hour, which is a unit of energy amounting to one kilowatt per hour or 1,000 watts per hour. The kilowatt-hour is commonly used as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities.
Energy delivered to the RPU customer billed at the customer’s retail rate and all excess energy sent back to RPU is credited at the buy back rate (avoided cost of energy).
Here’s a side by side look at the current and proposed programs.
|Current Program (NEM)||Proposed Self-Generation Program|
|Maximum size limit 1 MW||Maximum size limit 5 MW|
|System size limit tied to historical usage||Increase system size limit|
|No provisions for oversizing||Variance form for oversizing with proof of purchase or installation|
|Requires formal agreement||No agreement; qualify upon interconnection|
|Residential 3 tier rate||Residential Time of Use rate|
|Commercial and industrial rates||No change|
|Production meter required||Production meter optional|
|Net billing - energy delivered to customer and excess energy received by RPU netted prior to billing||Bi-directional billing - energy delivered billed at applicable rate and excess energy received by RPU compensated at buy back rate (avoided cost of energy)|
|Annual settlement for surplus energy delivered to RPU||Monthly settlement|
|Net surplus energy compensation at RPU’s renewable cost of energy||Energy sent back to the grid no longer nets at the retail rate.|
|Nets energy at the retail rate. Any excess banked energy at the end of the year is compensated at the net surplus energy compensation rate.||Compensation for energy received by RPU at avoided cost of energy (buy back rate). Based on time of day (if applicable) according to customer’s rate schedule.|
|Eligible for program revisions after 32 MW||Program cap at 64 MW including current NEM program interconnections|
Tell Us What You Think!
The City of Riverside City Council will conduct a public hearing to consider proposed changes to Schedule NEM, “Net Energy Metering for Renewable Electrical Generation Facilities”, Electric Rule 22 “Distributed Generation Facilities Interconnection”, and the proposed Schedule Self-Gen, “Self-Generation Program for Renewable Electrical Generation Facilities”.
For more information or to share your thoughts, contact SelfGeneration@Riversideca.gov