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Solar and Net Metering

A New Solar Electric System

Net metering is the interconnection of electricity generating devices such as solar modules to the utility electricity grid. Net metering means that on a home with the standard primary utility meter, this meter records the net of the customer's use of utility electricity and their electricity generation. 

How it works
For example, if a customer with a 1000 Watt photovoltaic system generates 150 kWh in July, and also uses 600 kWh in their home that month, the net that will be recorded on their utility meter will be 450 kWh. The customer will pay for 450 kWh on their utility bill. By slowing the meter down with their electricity production, the customer receives the retail rate for their production.

Fact sheet - Solar Net Metering and Financial Incentives
Adhering to Tacoma Power’s Electrical Construction Standard for Production Metering is required for solar installations.

Customer Requirements for Production Metering

Net Metering Steps

1. Submit the following by mail to:

Conservation Resources Management, Renewables Program
3628 S. 35th St.
Tacoma, WA 98409

2. Electrical Permit - You must obtain an electrical permit from Tacoma Power. Call (253) 502-8277 for permit and fee information. 

3. Electrical Inspection -
After you complete the system installation, call (253) 502-8277 to schedule your electrical inspection.

Incentive Payment Program - To participate in the program and receive payment for your production of renewable energy, Tacoma Power must install a production meter on your system. Installation of this meter is $90. Your electrical inspector will initiate the process to get a meter installed. (Residential only. Commercial permit and meter fees vary.)

Renewable Energy System Certification - To receive payment for your renewable energy production, you must register your system with Washington State. Complete and submit the Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Certification Form to the State Department of Revenue.

Annual Incentive Payment - Net metering customers will receive a letter from Tacoma Power by the last week of July. This letter will confirm your annual renewable energy production and incentive amount. We will also include a pre-filled Department of Revenue form. Simply sign and return the form to receive the annual incentive payment.  


Contact Conservation Resources Management at (253) 502-8619.

Financial Incentives for Solar Power

We participate in Washington state's Renewable Energy Annual Incentive Payment Program. If you become a net metering customer and track your energy production with a second meter, you can apply for an annual payment based on your electricity production.

As of spring 2013, we are interconnected with 80 residential customers and two community colleges - Tacoma Community College and Pierce College - who contribute renewable energy to the utility grid. These customers generate power with solar electricity and a small wind generator. In our area, the weak wind resource is not sufficient for meaningful electricity production.