The Turlock Irrigation District held a Solar Rate workshop on Nov. 18 explaining proposed rate changes to new solar customers and will hold a solar public rate hearing Dec. 2.
The District is proposing seven new rate schedules for solar, in addition to both a demand charge and on/off energy peak charge; the rationale is that customers with no demand charge can lead to un-recouped costs. The goal is to move closer to charges that reflect cost of service.
TID notes that for any particular group of customers, there would be no significant increase or decrease in cost.
According to the District, early mandated solar subsidies were a catalyst for solar development and cost reductions. They note that customer installation rates have since indicated that the policy implementation has been successful.
TID recognizes mandates associated with this cost shift reduction from solar to non-solar customers, which is why the mandates required declining rebates and a net metering penetration cap.
Once meeting the legislative mandates, fairness and rate equity between solar and non-solar customers remains their goal.
The District has a stated stance of neutrality when it comes to whether or not customers choose to go solar; so long as customer’s make informed decisions regarding the installation of solar generation, they do not want to affect their choice. TID offers assistance to customers to decide whether solar is the right choice for their situation.
As RNT and NNT rate schedules that were previously available are now closed, new solar customers are now eligible for the Self-Generation (SG) rate schedule, a form of net metered billing.
TID provides this rate schedule for customers who choose to operate a privately-owned source of generation, like solar, within and parallel to TID’s system; it provides for Standby Service, Purchase Service, and Transmission Service as needed for the customer-generator. The services provided depend on the generating facility and what customers may need.
The primary differences would include that customer must pay an additional monthly self-generation and stand-by service fee; excess generation to be paid at TID’s avoided costs; customers must pay for the installation of a generation meter; SG rate schedule customers are not eligible for aggregated billing; and system sizes are not limited to a customer’s load.
Customers that have installed solar, or are considering solar, should be aware that the District continually makes changes to rate schedules and these changes could negatively affect your expected return on investment. Technology, software and metering changes are currently underway at TID. These advancements are expected to drive recommended changes in the rate schedule structures offered to our customers.
Currently, customers who sell generated power to TID can potentially receive compensation provided under the SG rate schedule, they can also negotiate a separate power supply agreement with TID.
Additional modifications to the SG Rate Schedule are being considered and a rate review process is currently underway.
A Public Rate Hearing to consider modifications to Solar Net Metering will be held Dec. 2 at 9:00 AM in the TID Boardroom, 333 E. Canal Dr. in Turlock.