05 Aug Net Metering under fire in Snohomish County
Just a few weeks ago, we were proud to stand with Snohomish PUD as partners in our legislative success on the Solar Jobs Bill. So why are they now working on a back-room deal to shut down solar in Snohomish County?
We recently learned that without any public input, the Snohomish Public Utility District is considering a proposal to replace net metering for solar power with a “buy all, sell all” system. What’s that mean?
- Net Metering: Right now, solar owners here in Snohomish Countyuse the solar power their system makes to reduce the amount of power they have to buy from the grid. But if they’re making more solar power than the home or business can use in any instant, the excess is sent into the grid, “sold” to SnoPUD at the retail rate. Later, when the sun isn’t shining, solar owners can reclaim those excess kilowatt-hours from the grid at the same retail price. That’s how net metering allows solar owners to offset their energy use over the course of the year.
- “Buy All, Sell All”: SnoPUD wants to shut down net metering for future solar owners. Instead, future solar owners would be forced to “buy all” their electricity from SnoPUD at the retail cost. Additionally, they’d be forced to “sell all” their solar power to the SnoPUD grid at a much lower price. Not only could solar owners not use their own power, but they’d get weak compensation for the solar kilowatt-hours they contribute to the broader grid.
This deal was drafted without any public input. They could vote on this huge decision as soon as the next few months.
What can you do?
Ask our 3 elected SnoPUD Commissioners, as well as the General Manager/CEO, to schedule a hearing for public comment. Here’s a sample message to make your own:
“Net metering is essential to solar and Washington’s clean-energy future. Undercutting it via a closed-door process would be a terrible deal for SnoPUD customers who want solar choices. Please put the “public” back in “Public Utility District,” and schedule a hearing for public input on this critical issue.”
Thanks for your help preventing a back-room deal against the future of Washington’s clean energy.