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Generate your own electricity

contractor installing solar panels on roof

Net metering program

Our net metering program is designed for those who generate electricity for their own use. It allows you to power your home or business with renewable energy in a self-sufficient way, but with the flexibility to rely on our grid if you need it.

How it works

When you generate more electricity than you need, you feed it back to our grid and get a credit towards your future electricity use. When you don't generate enough to meet your needs, you buy it from us.

Visual guide: How net metering works [PDF, 49 KB]

  1. Solar panels* convert energy from the sun into direct current (DC) electricity.
  2. Inverters convert the DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is what your home or business and our distribution system use.
  3. The electricity your system generates powers your home or business first, and excess is sent to our distribution grid.
  4. Your smart meter measures how much of the electricity supplied by BC Hydro you’ve used, and how much excess you’ve sent to the grid.
  5. Your excess generation is credited to you on your next bill. If you still have generation credits on your anniversary date (March 1), we’ll pay you for the excess electricity at market price.

*Or another source of clean or renewable energy generation as identified in the Clean Energy Act.

Quick facts about the program

  • As of June 2021, over 3,700 customers are participating in our net metering program.
  • The majority of our net metering customers use a solar photovoltaic system.
  • The average household uses approximately 10,000 kWh per year. A typical solar installation on a residential roof is seven kilowatt (kW) in size with 16 solar panels, which in B.C., generates 7,700 kWh of electricity over a year.

Eligibility

The net metering program is open to residential and commercial customers. You can participate if your electricity generators meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Owned or leased by you (the customer)
  • Connected to our distribution system
  • Uses a clean or renewable resource as defined by the Clean Energy Act (such as solar, wind, hydro, etc.)
  • Have an aggregate nameplate capacity of no more than 100 kW

Applicants in our Non-Integrated Areas

For projects located in our Non-Integrated Areas (NIAs), we strongly recommend waiting to purchase generating equipment until after the net metering application is reviewed and accepted by us.

NIA systems use a variety of resources to support their electricity load, such as diesel, existing or proposed independent power producer (IPP) renewable generation, and intermittent energy via net metering. That complexity requires us to perform a thorough technical review of each net metering application received for projects located in an NIA, so we can ensure that we’ll be able to continue to provide reliable and cost-effective electricity to you.

Apply for net metering

Interested in taking part in our net metering program? Start by understanding how the full process works.

 

November 15, 2021

BC Hydro hosted the technical workshop for Complex Net Metering projects. Please view the workshop presentation [PDF, 857 KB].

July 27, 2021

We've posted updated samples of drawings to assist solar contractors with Complex net metering applications.

June 22, 2021

Clean Power 2040 is BC Hydro's plan for how we'll ensure we can continue to deliver clean, reliable electricity for the next 20 years. As a net metering customer, there are elements in the draft plan that may interest you.

February 16, 2021

BC Hydro hosted the Net Metering informational webinar. Please view the webinar's presentation [PDF, 849 KB].

January 20, 2021

BC Hydro is hosting a Net Metering informational webinar on February 16, 2021 from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

 

October 30, 2020

BC Hydro submitted an evaluation report [PDF, 2.2 MB] to the B.C. Utilities Commission.

September 15, 2020

BC Hydro will be sending an evaluation report to the BC Utilities Commission by October 31, 2020. To help inform the report, we asked you to share your views in the survey. The survey closed on September 25, 2020.

August 19, 2020

The new Rate Schedule 1289 Net Metering Service [PDF, 976 KB] effective June 23, 2020 has been posted.

July 22, 2020

In a recent decision, the BCUC approved changes to the Net Metering program.

These changes will provide customers with increased opportunities to offset their load while ensuring the price paid for excess energy is aligned with the wholesale electricity market and reflects its value to BC Hydro.

The main changes approved by the BCUC:

  1. Lower the price paid for the annual surplus energy to a market price, updated each year;
  2. Provide a transitional energy price of 9.99 cents per kWh to existing customers until April 2024;
  3. Remove the interim requirement to limit a customer's generation size to the annual load; and
  4. Assign a March 1 anniversary date with one complimentary opportunity to choose an alternative date after.

How these changes impact customers:

  • If your net metering application was accepted before April 29, 2019, you'll continue to receive the transitional energy price of 9.99 per kWh until April 2024, then move to the market price.
  • If your net metering application was accepted on or after April 29, 2019, you'll receive the market price for surplus energy.
  • Customers applying to the program will not be required to limit the generation size to the annual load and can apply for a generating facility up to 100 kW.
  • All customers will have a March 1 anniversary date set to allow the best opportunity to offset their BC Hydro energy costs by applying their generation credits over fall and winter months. Customers have one opportunity to choose an alternative anniversary date after.

We'll be implementing these changes in the coming months.

June 25, 2020

On June 23, 2020 the B.C. Utilities Commission issued the Decision on BC Hydro's Application to Amend Net Metering Service under Rate Schedule 1289 [PDF, 3.1 MB] for changes to the Net Metering Program.