Most rooftop solar projects are connected to the larger electricity grid. Logistically, connecting your rooftop solar to the power lines already feeding your home is the most straight-forward way to power your home with rooftop solar. This also ensures that when the sun isn’t shining, you can get power from your utility. Lastly, any unused solar flows back into the grid, bringing more clean energy to our electricity system, benefiting you, your neighbors and the community!
How homes are compensated for their excess solar
Electricity generated from rooftop solar first serves your home’s onsite electricity demand. If your home’s solar system generates more electricity than you use during a given billing cycle, you will receive some type of credit for the electricity you send to the grid.
What type and how much credit you receive depends on your utility. If you are a Rocky Mountain Power customer, keep on reading. If you are served by a local municipal utility, scroll to the end of this page to get the details on additional interconnection policies.
Solar export credit details for Rocky Mountain Power Customers
The Utah Public Service Commission approved a new Export Credit Rate for rooftop solar customers in October 2020. The current Export Credit Rate is approximately 5 cents per kilowatt-hour exported to the grid. To put that into perspective, residential Rocky Mountain Power customers pay an average of 10.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity used.
This rate applies to all NEW solar installations. Here is a breakdown of all existing solar rates based on when you installed your solar project.
Solar Rates Comparison
“Net Billing Service”
|Applies To:||solar customers who filed an interconnection agreement starting October 31, 2020||solar customers who filed an interconnection agreement after November 14, 2017 and before October 31, 2020||solar customers who filed an interconnection agreement before November 15, 2017|
|Exported kWh valued at:||4.462 ¢/kWh (winter) or 5.160 ¢/kWh (summer)||90-92.5% of retail rate (9.2 ¢ kWh for residential customers)||retail rate (varies for different customer types)|
|Export rate is updated:||annually on March 1||n/a||n/a|
|Exported kilowatt-hours are netted with energy purchased from the utility:||instantaneously||on a 15-minute basis||on a monthly basis|
|Expires:||no expiration date||January 1 2033||January 1 2036|
Schedule 135: Net Metering
The net metering program is closed and no longer available to new customers. Solar customers who filed an interconnection agreement before November 15, 2017 are grandfathered into the Net Metering Program until January 1, 2036. Net Metering customers receive a kilowatt-hour credit for each kilowatt-hour of energy exported to the grid. Credits accrued by all solar customers roll over from month to month until March, when they expire. For Net Metering customers, the value of expired bill credits is applied to support the low-income bill assistance program, the Home Energy Lifeline Program (HELP). For Transition and Net Billing customers, the value of the expired kilowatt-hours is credited to the Energy Balancing Account, reducing costs for all utility customers.
Schedule 136: The Transition Program
Solar customers who filed an interconnection agreement between November 15, 2017 and October 30, 2020 are grandfathered into the Transition Program until January 1, 2033. The Transition Program provides a credit for each kilowatt-hour exported to the grid that equals 90 – 92.5% of a customers’ average retail rate for electricity. Exported energy is netted against energy purchased from the utility on a 15-minute basis. Table 1 provides specific export credit values for each type of utility customer. Net metering is no longer available to new customers.
Table 1: Export Credit Values for Transition Program Customers
|Schedule||Export Credit for solar (¢/kWh)||Average Electricity Price from RMP (¢/kWh)|
|Residential (1, 2, 3)||9.2 cents||10.2 cents|
|Medium Commercial (6)||3.4 cents||3.7 cents|
|Medium Commercial Energy Time of Day (6A)||6.6 cents||7.1 cents|
|Medium Commercial Demand Time of Day (6B)||3.4 cents||3.7 cents|
|Large Commercial (8)||3.5 cents||3.8 cents|
|Metered Outdoor Nighttime Lighting (15)||4.9 cents||5.3 cents|
|Traffic and Other Signal Systems (15)||7.8 cents||8.4 cents|
|Irrigation (10)||5.6 cents||6.1 cents|
|Small Commercial (23)||8.2 cents||8.9 cents|
Not a Rocky Mountain Power Customer
Many municipal utilities offer a 1:1 credit for solar kilowatt-hours exported to the grid, a policy known as net metering. Review your municipal utility’s solar policy to learn more. Always contact your municipal utility before installing solar to ensure you have up-to-date information on their solar policy and are in compliance with your utility’s specific requirements.