UTAH ROOFTOP SOLAR RATES EXPLAINED


Understanding Rates and Terms of Service for Rocky Mountain Power Rooftop Solar Customers

** If your electric utility is not Rocky Mountain Power, please contact your utility directly for applicable rates and terms of service.

A recent settlement changed how rooftop solar and other customer-sited renewable generation will be treated now and in the future for Rocky Mountain Power customers. This guide is designed to help the general public navigate the terms of that settlement.

Info Rocky Mountain Power customers who submit applications to interconnect on-site renewables (such as rooftop solar) are now part of a new Transition Program. This program will be available to new customers until the program cap is reached or until the Export Credit Proceeding is completed (around late 2020.)


Large Commercial Cap
Cap = 70 MW

Small Commercial/Residential Cap
Cap = 170 MW

For the most up-to-date information regarding the the MW caps please see the Rocky Mountain Power website.

How do I know what kind of customer I am?


Net-Metered Customer

You are a Net Metered (NEM) customer if your complete interconnection application was submitted to Rocky Mountain Power before November 15, 2017.

  • You will remain within the current NEM program until December 31, 2035. Your energy generation and usage will be netted on a monthly basis. Excess generation will be carried to the next month and credited against that month’s usage until the end of the annualized billing period.
  • You will remain within your otherwise applicable customer class through December 31, 2035. (i.e. residential net-metered customers stay in the residential rate class)
  • Your rate structure will only change when changes apply to the entire rate class, including the actual rates and surcharges that change with Public Service Commission approval.
  • You will receive the current NEM program structure until December 31, 2035. Your monthly generation and usage will be netted. Excess generation will be carried to the next month and credited against that month’s usage until the end of the annualized billing period.
  • Excess generation credits expire at the end of the annualized billing period (March for most customer classes and October for the irrigator class)
  • The value of expiring credits will be applied to Rocky Mountain Power’s low income bill assistance program.
  • You retain RECs and all non-energy attributes.
  • You will no longer be considered a NEM customer if you
    1. remove your approved rooftop solar generation system from service,
    2. materially increase the size of your rooftop solar generation system, or
    3. voluntarily change to another customer generation program.
  • If you sell your home or building, then you will lose the NEM customer status and the buyer of the property will become the NEM Customer.
  • You are required to participate in load research studies if selected to do so.
  • For all terms and conditions, see Schedule 135.

Transition Customer

You are a Transition Customer if your complete interconnection application was submitted to Rocky Mountain Power after November 15, 2017 but before either the Transition Program cap is reached or the Excess Compensation Docket is complete. The anticipated completion date for the Excess Compensation Docket is in late 2020. (For more information about this docket, refer to the "Post Transition" section.)

  • Your generation and consumption will be measured at 15 minute increments. If you consume more energy than you produce, you will pay for the actual amount of energy you consumed. If you produce more than you consume, you will be given a ¢/kWh credit for that excess energy.
  • Your compensation rate is based on your customer class or rate schedule and will be in effect until December 31, 2032.
    1. Residential (Schedules 1, 2, or 3): 9.2 ¢/kWh
    2. Schedule 6: 3.4¢/kWh
    3. Schedule 6A: 6.6¢/kWh
    4. Schedule 15.1: 4.9¢/kWh
    5. Schedule 15.2:  7.8¢/kWh
    6. Schedule 8:  3.5¢/kWh
    7. Schedule 10:  5.6¢/kWh
    8. Schedule 23:  8.2¢/kWh
  • To apply for interconnection under this new program see the "Applications" section on Rocky Mountain Power's Utah Customer Generation page.
  • You will remain within your otherwise applicable customer class through December 31, 2032. (i.e. residential net-metered customers stay in the residential rate class)
  • Your rate structure will only change when changes apply to the entire rate class, including the actual rates and surcharges that change with Public Service Commission approval.
  • Excess generation credits expire at the end of the annualized billing period (March for most customer classes and October for the irrigator class)
  • The value of expiring credits will be applied to a program which has yet to be determined. The program will be approved by the Public Service Commission.
  • You retain RECs and all non-energy attributes.
  • You will no longer be considered a Transition Customer if you
    1. remove your approved rooftop solar generation system from service,
    2. materially increase the size of your rooftop solar generation system, or
    3. voluntarily change to another customer generation program.
  • If you sell your home or building, then you will lose Transition Customer status and the buyer of the property will become the Transition Customer.
  • You are required to participate in load research studies if selected to do so.
  • For all terms and conditions, see Schedule 136.

Post-Transition Customer

If you submit your application after the Transition Program cap is reached, but before the Excess Compensation Docket is complete, you will receive the Transition Customer compensation rate. When the Utah Public Service Commission completes the Excess Compensation Docket (which is predicted to happen in the latter part of 2020), Post-Transition customers will switch to the new compensation rate.

  • Your specific compensation rate will be determined through the Utah Public Service Commission’s Excess Compensation Docket proceeding.
  • The first phase of the docket, addressing a load research study, has been scheduled. Parties are discussing the overall scope of the rest of the docket, and a hearing has been scheduled for late 2020.
  • Your generation and consumption will be measured at increments, to be determined in the Excess Compensation Docket. If you consume more than you produce, you will pay for the actual amount consumed. If you produce more than you consume, you will be given a ¢/kWh credit for that excess energy. These details will be determined in the Export Credit Proceeding.
  • Your customer class is subject to change in future general rate cases and you will be subject to whatever rates are approved by the Public Service Commission.
  • For more information, see the Public Service Commission docket page.
This website is for informational purposes only and does not alter any party's rights or responsibilities under applicable law.  The information presented above is a summary of the controlling settlement agreement and Commission order.

Be A Smart Shopper

Rooftop solar and other customer-sited generation may be a good choice for some consumers.  Do your research and consider including the following analysis:

Cost/Benefit

Carefully evaluate assumptions about the cost-benefit analysis, including financing options:

  • Research your electrical energy consumption and profile – each customer is different. Some people increase usage over time, others decrease usage, while some remain constant.
  • Scrutinize any assumptions or predictions about future utility rates. The Utah Public Service Commission keeps a history of rate changes that may be helpful.
  • Evaluate financing costs considering factors such as the payback period of the resource, the life of the resource, and the anticipated remaining time you plan to spend in your home.
Computer

Follow good consumer protection practices:

  • Always get estimates for the job from two or three contractors. If possible, find contractors who are recommended by a friend or family member who is familiar with the contractor’s work.
  • Get references from the contractor and then speak to the references. Discuss their satisfaction with the contractor’s work, whether the work was done on schedule and within the original contract price.
  • Check to make sure that the contractor has a business license from your city or local jurisdiction if required.
  • Ask the contractor about warranties available for their workmanship and warranties associated with the solar panels and inverters they plan to use.
  • Make sure the contractor agrees to the following in writing: the price, a summary of the work to be done and materials to be used, the day the work is to start and the estimated completion date, responsibility for clean up, any guarantees, and if applicable, the financing and credit terms, including payment schedules.
  • Read and understand all papers before you sign anything.
  • Please protect your Rocky Mountain Power account information to prevent fraudulent applications being submitted on your behalf.
Contractor

Be wary of contractors who:

  • Quote or advertise a price, but then say it will cost more because it must be customized or the materials are out of stock.
  • Misrepresent the financing terms.
  • Only have a P.O. Box and/or answering service. Do not do business with a contractor that does not give out its business address or telephone number.
  • Say they have leftover materials from another job and can give you a discount.
  • Say that they will use your home as model to give you a special discount.
  • Come to your home seeking business, unless you are able to thoroughly check them out by verifying their contractor and business licenses and following the other tips outlined above.
  • Promise you a discount or commission if you supply names of other potential buyers.
  • Say they are working in the neighborhood and have extra time and materials to offer you a deal. That rarely turns out to be true.
The links provided above are sources external to Utah State Government and in no way constitute an endorsement by the State of either the entities providing or referenced in the information, or of the information therein.
Copyright © 2018 - Utah Department of Commerce
* Top photo courtesy of Intermountain Wind & Solar.