What is happening
Tipmont REMC’s leadership recently announced a plan to rework its longstanding policy of full net metering for new solar customers. Tipmont created this new policy after member-owners advocated to preserve the benefits of going solar for current and future customers. Tipmont’s leadership listened and responded positively, engaging in multiple conversations and holding two focus groups for current solar owners.The new program, which preserves full net metering over a 12 month period, will take effect for member-owners with solar starting some time in 2023 after final approval from the Tipmont Board.
Net metering benefits everyone
We all benefit when more people power their homes and businesses with solar energy. That’s why solar owners deserve fair credit for the electricity they generate.
More rooftop solar makes our electric system more affordable. When solar energy is generated close to where it’s needed, the grid is more efficient and reliable. Local solar offers a reliable and cheaper alternative to expensive grid upgrades that might otherwise be needed.
For many potential solar owners, net metering is an important factor in their ability to afford “going solar.”
How the new net metering tariff works
Solar owners earn credit for the electricity they generate and share with their neighbors. This happens through a policy called “net metering.” With net metering, solar owners earn a one-to-one kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit on their bill. This credit is based on how much electricity they generate but don’t use themselves over a full billing cycle. That’s an even swap for clean electricity produced by local solar and shared with other Tipmont REMC member-owners. This credit offsets some of the cost that the solar owner pays for electricity from the utility.
If a solar owner sends more electricity to the co-op than they use that month, the extra credit (after off-setting their bill) gets rolled over to be used with the next month’s bill. The change in the new policy comes at what’s called a “true up period,” when Tipmont pays the solar owner the cash value of any credit that is built up and not used over the course of the past 12 months. This new change will only affect a small number of solar owners, as most will use up their credit during the year.
Tipmont will be instituting a “separation” date, pending board approval. Anyone who installed solar before that date will receive a reimbursement payment at the current retail rate for their excess electricity credit with their year-end reimbursement. Anyone installing after that date will receive a year-end reimbursement payment at a lower rate for their excess electricity credit. Again, the rate will be determined by board approval, and SUN will update this page with more details once the policy is finalized.
Tipmont’s continued support for customer-owned solar is important and appreciated, and while this new net metering tariff will lower the year-end payment for a small number of solar owners, the continuation of net metering, and the engagement of Tipmont member-owners is a win-win!