A Comprehensive Guide to Net Metering Program

A Comprehensive Guide to Net Metering Program

A Comprehensive Guide to Net Metering Program

Know about our Series!

This section is particularly dedicated to introducing our brand new series i.e. ‘Get familiar with Saskatchewan Solar Incentives’. As the name says, we will walk you through a wide range of incentives supporting renewable energies. The 5 Solar Incentives in Saskatchewan that would make you shift to Solar Post will help you know what this series will cover.

What will you find in this post?

This post, being the first part of the series explores the Net Metering Program and net Billing as financial incentives supporting the adoption of solar power systems in various settings. 

It outlines the application process, including steps for assessing energy needs, system size considerations, costs, pricing, and eligibility criteria. The program aims to empower individuals, agricultural enterprises, and commercial entities in Saskatchewan to harness renewable energy sources. 

Additionally, it discusses deadlines and necessary documentation for program enrollment, providing comprehensive guidance for prospective participants.

Let’s begin with understanding the program

Net Metering Program and net Billing are important financial incentives that are designed to support the implementation of solar power systems in residential, agricultural, and commercial settings, specifically those with capacities of up to 100 kW. 

Under this incentive, owners of such solar power systems can make their own renewable energy and use the production to avoid the cost of rapidly increasing utility prices. People can connect their systems with grids and send back the excess electricity to the grid. If the amount sent back exceeds what they consume, their electrical bill will drop to a nil amount. Some amount of electricity can be saved as credits for upcoming months.

Where can you apply?

Owners can go to the official website of SaskPower to apply for this program. Or they can also use the direct link provided by us: Application Form

Before heading on to the application form; make sure you read the below section thoroughly and then make an informed decision.

What does the Application Process look like?

Step 1: Assess Your Energy Needs Before diving into the Net Metering program, take these initial steps:
  • Enhance Energy Efficiency:
  • Make your home energy-efficient to minimize the required system size and maximize cost savings.
  • Understand Energy Consumption:
  • Track monthly power usage by signing up for an online account to determine the system size needed.
  • Research Options:
  • Explore online resources to understand if Net Metering aligns with your energy goals.
  • Size and Cost Evaluation:
  • Obtain quotes from multiple suppliers to determine the optimal size and cost of your system.
  • Interconnection Assessment:
  • Wait for the completion of the interconnection assessment before finalizing your project commitment.

Step 2: System Size Considerations

Your project can have a maximum capacity of 100 kW (dc). Tailor the system size to match your energy consumption, with earned credits offsetting energy charges.

Step 3: Review Requirements for Grid Connection

Check the Generation Interconnection Needs at Voltage 34.5 kV and Below (Addendum 2019) to expedite project approval and prevent delays.

Step 4: Program Costs
  • Interconnection Study Fee:
    • A non-refundable fee of $315 (GST included).
  • Electrical Permits and Inspection:
    • Secure an electrical permit before starting the project.
    • Submit installation plans for net metering project review.
  • Connection Expenses: 
    • You bear the responsibility for all expenses linked to linking your project to the SaskPower grid.
    • Expenses commence at $498.75 (inclusive of GST) for the two-way meter.

Note: If you have a 120/208V single-phase service, consult SaskPower before starting the project for potential modifications and additional costs. What is common is 120/240V.

System Costs: You are responsible for purchasing and installing the net metering system, covering equipment, contractor/electrician costs, and other associated expenses.

Step 5: Pricing and Credits
  • Price per kWh:
    • Surplus electricity supplied to the grid is valued at 7.5 cents per kilowatt-hour till March 31, 2026.
  • Usage Rate:
    • When using the power your system produces, it is billed at your standard retail rate.
    • Excess power beyond your consumption is credited at 7.5 cents per kWh.
  • Credit Management:
    • You can retain any surplus credits on your bill until you move or change your location and close your account
    • Credits cannot be refunded and will not be issued.

Note: Ensure compliance with SaskPower's Terms and Conditions and be prepared for a $315 (GST included) program fee, invoiced after form submission. For inquiries, contact SaskPower at 1-888-757-6937.

Are you eligible for this Program?

Qualifying Participants:

The initiative welcomes all SaskPower clients, encompassing individuals, agricultural enterprises, and commercial entities. If you aren't currently with SaskPower, kindly consult your electricity supplier for program specifics. 

Yet, you're still entitled to the SaskPower Grid Metering Incentive. Submitting your initial application for the SaskPower Net Metering Rebate before installing your system is crucial.

See which Energy Channels are approved:

To qualify for program eligibility, the generation of electricity must harness one of the sanctioned sources:

  • Solar
  • Low-Impact Hydro
  • Biomass/Biogas
  • Flare Gas
  • Waste Heat Recovery

It is crucial that all utilized generation equipment bears certification for usage in Canada. For a comprehensive understanding of the Canadian Electrical Code, the Electrical Inspection Act, and Saskatchewan-specific interpretations, we recommend visiting saskpower.com.

Know about the Project Scale

Within the program framework, projects can encompass a peak generating capacity of up to 100 kW DC as indicated on the nameplate. Eligible participants have the opportunity to reach a maximum of 500 kW annually.

Be on track with Deadlines

Saskatchewan's Net Metering Program was given the green light until November 30, 2021, or until it hit the 16 MW limit. Surprisingly, the program hit the 16-megawatt mark two years ahead of schedule, leading to its suspension.

However, a new and permanent net metering program has now replaced it. Here's the deal: Any credits you acquire roll over monthly and remain valid for an expansive three-year period. But here's the catch - at the end of those three years, any remaining credits get wiped clean to start afresh. It's like a fresh energy slate every three years!

Anniversary Date Structure:

Ensuring you make the most of your accumulated credits over 36 months is Sask Power’s goal. The anniversary date for net metering customers is established according to the type of energy resource employed. If the proposed date doesn't fit your schedule, feel free to contact us, and we can make modifications.

Solar Energy Users (March-April Anniversary):

  • Credits gathered during the vibrant spring and summer are stored to brighten up your autumn and winter energy needs. It's akin to storing sunshine for a rainy day!

Other Energy Resources (Anniversary Date tied to Meter Installation):

  • For those not relying heavily on sunlight, your anniversary date aligns with the month your bi-directional meter was installed. It's a personalized approach to suit different energy dynamics.

 

What Documents you should keep ready?

To kick off your application for SaskPower's net metering program, gather up the following paperwork:

  • Invoices and Receipts: Grab copies of all your paid receipts and invoices related to the installation costs and any equipment used for power generation.
  • Interconnection Contract: If you're not currently with SaskPower, secure a copy of the Net Metering interconnection contract signed by your current power provider.
  • Site Location Map: Provide a general map that pinpoints where your power-generating system is situated and the specific location of the meter on your building.
  • Specification Sheets: Make sure to include specification sheets for all the equipment you're planning to install, whether it's inverters, micro-inverters, or generator data.
  • Electrical Single Line Diagram: Get your hands on a diagram sketched out by an electrician or engineer. This diagram should illustrate the flow from the generating power source to the AC breaker panel and onward to the grid.

The ending note is

By the end of the discussion, the Net Metering Program and Net Billing offer significant financial incentives for adopting solar power systems and fostering sustainable energy practices in residential, agricultural, and commercial sectors. 

With an emphasis on efficiency, affordability, and eligibility, these programs empower individuals and businesses to harness renewable energy sources while mitigating utility costs. 

By providing clear guidance on application procedures, costs, and documentation requirements, these initiatives encourage widespread participation and contribute to the collective effort toward a greener future.

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