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Peace Energy's Comment on BC Hydro's proposed changes to the Net Meter Program in BC. Please, share widely.
  Peace Energy Renewable Energy Cooperative Box 2567, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada V1G 5A1Office: 1204-103rd Ave., Dawson Creek, BC V1G www.peaceenergy.caph: 250-782-3882 April 27, 2018 ATTENTION: all Peace Energy Cooperative members, customers and supportersREGARDING: BC HYDRO’s proposed Net Meter policy change SUMMARY: ã BC Hydro has applied to the BC Utilities Commission for permission to tweak their net metering policy. ã  The tweak will, if approved by the BCUC, eliminate the need for BC Hydro to pay out energy producers who intentionally produce a great deal more energy than they need for the purpose of creating income from their Net Metered systems. ã This will NOT affect any of Peace Energy’s net metered customers  because all of our solar systems are designed to produce just enough power (or less) to meet our customers’ needs over their one-year billing cycle. NOW THE DETAILS:  To all Peace Energy Cooperative’s (PEC) members, customers, supporters and those interested in grid tie Net Metered solar systems, we are writing to advise you of PEC’s understanding of the recent request BC Hydro made to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) for changes to the Net Meter Rate Schedule governing Net Meter accounts in BC. Peace Energy has reviewed the BC Hydro notification (sent to current Net meter customers and posted here) regarding the requested changes to the current Rate Schedule 1289 which governs grid tie Net Meter accounts. With the current language in the Amendment, we feel that there will be no material implications to the PEC solar sales business model, or our current or future Net Meter customers.   The PEC solar business model is, and always has been, focused on maximizing the solar resource to the point of being Net Zero (or slightly over) such that you use solar produced electricity to displace the amount of electricity you would normally purchase from BC Hydro in an average year. Under the Net Meter program, BC Hydro keeps track of your excess electrical production (in kilowatt hours – kWh’s) as a credit on your account. In each billing period these kWh credits are applied to your current energy use (kWh’s) from BC Hydro. This results in a reduction or approximate elimination of a net metered customers’ electrical bills. This is NOT going to change with this proposed amendment!  cont’d.... Peace Energy Cooperative – Local People, Local Resources, Local Benefits  Peace Energy Renewable Energy Cooperative Box 2567, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada V1G 5A1Office: 1204-103rd Ave., Dawson Creek, BC V1G www.peaceenergy.caph: 250-782-3882 Peace Energy Cooperative – Local People, Local Resources, Local Benefits - page 2 -Looking to future Net Meter systems and based on the current language in the amendment we also do not see any significant impacts for our future Net Meter customers based on our normal solar design criteria and business model.  The language in the BC Hydro Amendment is meant to address a loophole in the current Net Meter rate schedule. This loophole allows NM customers to size their electric generating equipment for power production far exceeding their usual annual electrical use and receive a cash payout each year. This is not what the Net Meter program is intended for. The money that BC Hydro pays to it’s Net Meter customers (10 cents per kWh credit on the account anniversary date) was intended to reward the account holder for small overproduction since annual electrical use and generation are variable. (In some other  jurisdictions, energy over production from a Net Meter system is not given any value or payout at all!)  The BC Hydro program was not intended as an income stream from Net Meter systems, but rather as a recognition of value to the overall system. PEC is asking for review on points in the Amendment regarding methods used to calculate annual energy use and energy production which we feel need clarification and possible changes. We have made these concerns known to BC Hydro and the BCUC.Something else to keep in mind is that this is a submission and request for decision from the BCUC. Although BC Hydro is looking to implement these changes immediately to close a loophole, the changes must be approved by the BCUC to become active policy. Please contact us if you have any questions on this issue or would like to discuss your solar project. To check out the proposed BC Hydro policy change, go to: The Peace Energy Solar Team
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