Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Customer Service (M-F 8a-5:30p): 425-783-1000

For Customer Generators

PUD customers who generate some or all of their electricity with a renewable energy system have a special relationship with the PUD. These are our Customer-Generators. 


Net Metering

Washington state’s net metering policy is designed to let customer-generators offset their electricity consumption with solar energy production on an annual basis. If you use more energy than you produce during a given bill period, you pay the PUD for your net purchase. If you produce more energy than consumption associated with minimum energy charges within a given bill period, your net excess generation is monetized and banked in your net metering reserve. 

The net metering reserve allows you to roll over credit from net metering to apply to energy charges in another bill period. Per state law, net metering reserve credit expires on April 30 of each year. The PUD does not compensate customers this excess generation, and customers may not “donate” their generation to other PUD customers. This is why we recommend you size your PV system to generate no more than your average annual use.


Sample Bill:

Sample PUD bill (click to view) Click on the image and a pdf will pop-up for easier viewing.


Many Customer-Generators participate in both the PUD’s Net Metering Program and the WA State Renewable Energy System Cost Recovery Program, more commonly known as the Production Incentive Program.   


WA State Production Incentive

The Washington State Renewable Energy System Cost Recovery Program is a production-based incentive program. The PUD administers this program to qualifying customers. The amount each participant earns depends on the type of equipment installed and the amount of energy produced. There are limits per participant and in total incentives paid per utility each fiscal year. The program is subject to change by state action at any time and is scheduled to end on June 30, 2020. For more information about the program, please click here.

To participate, the customer named on the PUD account must own their property and PV system, and must have the system certified by the WA Department of Revenue. Submit the WA State Renewable Energy System Cost Recovery Certification form to the Department of Revenue along with all required documentation. Once you receive your certification letter from DOR, submit a copy to the PUD. Once the PUD has record of your system’s certification, we will administer the Production Incentive Credit annually. Click here for more information about the state program.

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Click here to read more about how the PUD administers the State Production Incentive

The PUD prepares annual incentive applications for all certified customers, letting them know how much renewable energy was produced and metered during the fiscal year, as well as the total incentive amount earned. Customers should receive this by late July. Customers will need to respond to the PUD with their acceptance (we’ll provide instructions and allow for both electronic and paper communications). When we receive the accepted application back from the customer, the customer is credited for the lump sum of fiscal year incentives. Customers may cash out their credit or leave it on their account to pay down future PUD charges.

After the total amount of Production Incentive Credits given to PUD customers for the previous fiscal year is reported to the state, PUD takes a credit on their Public Utility Tax equal to that amount.


FAQs

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How can I calculate my total energy use?

Your total energy use is made up of energy generated by your renewable energy system, plus energy you buy from the grid, minus energy you send back to the grid.  On the sample bill, the home’s total use this bill period is 333 KWH REN (A) + 329 KWH (B) – 237 KWH NET (C) = 425 KWH 

If I produced more energy than I used, why do I still have to pay PUD energy charges?

Even though you produced more energy than you consumed during the billing period, the PUD did incur costs on your behalf.  We work to maintain grid infrastructure so that power is there for you anytime you need more than what your system is producing. All customers pay a minimum energy charge to help pay for this service, and net metering cannot offset this. 

How long will I carry a balance in the net metering reserve?

During each billing period, we will apply as much of the net metering credit as possible to energy charges on your account. Any remaining unused credit will be held in the reserve for the future, carried over from one bill period to the next until it is fully used or until April 30 of each year, when any remaining unused net metering credit expires according to state law. Customers are not compensated for net metering credit that expires. 

I did not have to pay PUD for minimum energy charges prior to July 2015, why do I have PUD bills now?

Actually, you DID pay the PUD minimum energy charges prior to July 2015, but you might not have noticed. If you were participating in the State Renewable Energy Production Incentive program prior to July 2015, your state incentive (different from net metering) was posted to regular billing statements as a credit and we drew from that incentive to pay PUD charges. See next question.

What is net metering aggregation?

Net metering aggregation is available to customers that have a net metering reserve balance in April AND an additional metered account/accounts with the PUD. Customers are allowed on an annual basis to apply to have their net metering reserve balance applied to applicable energy charges on their other metered accounts. Net metering credit can never be used to offset minimum energy charges. Fees for aggregation do apply. Click here to read more about net metering aggregation in our rate schedule.

When and how do I receive my Renewable Energy Production Incentive (from the WA State Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Program)?

To be eligible for the Production Incentive, you must be certified by the Washington State Department of Revenue. You will need to submit a Renewable Energy System Cost Recovery Certification form to the Department of Revenue (DOR) along with all required documentation. Once you receive your certification letter from DOR, submit a copy to the PUD. A blank form can be found here. The PUD meters your renewable energy production and shows this on statements as KWH REN (line A). After June 30 through 2020, the PUD will prepare an annual incentive application for all certified customers. We will let you know how much energy was produced and metered to your account during the state fiscal year (July 1-June 30) as well as the total incentive amount earned. When the PUD receives your acceptance of these figures, we will credit your account for the lump sum of incentives earned (typically in August or September). You may request refund of the full credit amount or leave it on your account to pay down future PUD charges.

Can I use the PUD’s Budget Payment Plan (BPP) for a net metered account?

Budget Payment Plans are not compatible with net metering and will be discontinued when your account is set up on our net metering rate schedule. If you have concerns about this, please contact customer service at 425-783-1000.