During its regularly scheduled meeting today, the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors voted to approve a Net Billing program for solar customers, which will serve as a successor to the district’s current Net Energy Metering program that was mandated under state law.
“The new Net Billing program will ensure that rooftop solar installations in IID’s service area continue to grow while at the same time reducing cross-customer subsidization between those with and without solar,” said board President Norma Sierra Galindo. “After hearing from our customers and the solar industry about the importance of adopting a successor program, the board felt it was prudent to adopt the program before it today.”
Participation levels in the new program will not be capped as they were under original mandates that dictated IID set the program to 5 percent of the district’s peak load, or 50.2 megawatts. After a sharp increase in solar interconnection requests, IID reached its Net Energy Metering program cap in the first quarter of 2016.
Customers currently enrolled in the original Net Energy Metering program will continue to reap the benefits of that program for 20 years, based on the date their system were first placed into service.
Under the new Net Billing program, IID will meter the electricity delivered and received to the grid in kilowatt-hours after the customer serves his or her own load. For those times when a solar system is not entirely offsetting the customer’s load, the district will charge customers for the energy consumed from IID at its regular retail rate.
For those times when a solar system is producing excess power over what the customer is consuming, the customer will receive compensation from IID at a rate equal to the amount the district pays under its lowest cost executed solar energy contract. The district will financially “net” these amounts on a monthly basis.
Prior to board action, IID solicited customer input during two public rate hearings in the Coachella and Imperial valleys. IID staff also presented the new program to the Energy Consumers Advisory Committee, which is comprised of ratepayers from both valleys.