Bad news first: net metering has ended in Connecticut as of December 31, 2021!
After two decades of fueling residential solar adoption across the state, including in Durham, the wildly successful program was laid to rest because of significant resistance from some quarters of the public.
Opponents decried the net metering policy as an inefficient way to generate green energy since the utility company is essentially buying it at the same price as it’s selling it. They also alleged that the taxpayers ultimately pay for the net metering equipment because of government incentives on them.
Proponents of the net metering policy argued that net metering offers powerful motivation for solar customers to divert their excess energy to the grid during peak hours. This allows utility companies to manage power demand surges more efficiently and offer better power prices to residents. Also, since solar power adoption in the entire state is still a ridiculously small percentage (less than 5%), the cost of net metering equipment is virtually negligible for taxpayers.
Eventually, the government decided to replace net metering with a more equitable policy that rewarded solar buyers and stimulated solar adoption without burdening the taxpayers significantly.
As a result, net metering was phased out at the end of 2021, and CT residents began the new year with a new Renewable Energy Solutions (RES) program in its place.
Net Metering Survives, Albeit in a New Form
PURA passed a new law establishing the RES program as a replacement for the net metering policy, and it offers two distinct options for solar buyers – a netting tariff and a buy-all tariff.
Netting tariff pays solar customers for the excess solar energy they feed into the grid in monetary credits, which offset their monthly power bill. Unused credits can accumulate indefinitely. This incentive effectively replaces the net metering program.
The buy-all tariff is a simpler solution. Customers get monthly payments for selling all the solar power they generate directly to the utility company.
Netting Tariff Details
The monetary credits paid to you for diverting excess solar power to the grid are calculated at the same retail power rate you pay to the utility company. So, when the utility company increases the retail power price, so do your netting tariff credits.
In addition to the netting tariff incentive, customers get paid a flat $0.0318 for every kWh of solar energy their system generators, irrespective of who uses it. As mentioned before, this incentive replaces renewable energy certificates and offers a flat $31.8 for every 1,000 kWh of solar energy you generate. For a complete list of eligibility criteria, visit the PURA website.