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Rocky Mountain Power Solar Netmettering

Net Metering Explained

The current solar panel program with Rocky Mountian power is referred to as “Electrical Service Schedule Number 137”. If you’re new to solar and want to better understand “Net Metering” here’s how it works.

When you install solar panels on your home you sign an agreement with Rocky Mountian Power (or your local electricity provider) that agreement allows you to sell the extra electricity you produce.

Installing solar panels doesn’t necessarily make you independent from the power company. When the sun is shining solar panels will typically produce all the power the home needs. When the sun goes down you will still need to use electricity from the power company.

Net metering will allow you to look at your electricity usage from a yearly perspective and install solar panels that will produce enough electricity when the sun is shinning to credit the power you use when the sun is not shinning.

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What's New About Schedule 137

When rocky mountain power first released net metering, the credit system was 1 to 1. meaning if you exported a kWh you were credited 1 kWh on your utility bill.

Schedule 137 was implemented by Rocky Mountian Power and the Public Utility Commission in October of 2020. The name of the program was changed from “net metering” to “net billing” which implies the monetary value assigned to exported electricity. When electricity is exported to the power company credit of ~ 6 cents is given for each kWh. The current cost of a kWh ranges from ~8-14 cents. So with the new program, solar panel owners are getting 40 or 50 cents on the dollar. The other major change with this agreement is you are not locked in at ~6 cents for life. Rocky Mountian Power is expected to decrease the export credit again in the future.

If you factor in the chances it essentially means that one would need to install 5-10 more solar panels on the average system to compensate for the reduced value of exported electricity.

LG NeON 2 R Prime Solar Panels on utah home with utah valley in background

The Future Of Solar In Utah

The solution moving forward is going to be batteries. When batteries are added to solar panels it provides a place for the extra electricity to go other than the grid.  The excess electricity can charge the battery and be used when the sun is down. This will make the net billing export credit less relevant.

Another benefit of batteries is emergency power.  The typical solar panel installation of the past was not sophisticated enough to run independent of the power company. If there was a power outage and the sun was shinning the solar panels would stop producing power as well.  If there was a power outage your battery system could disconnect from the grid and run giving you backup power for hours or days.

LG NeON 2 R Prime Solar Panels on utah home with utah valley in background

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