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Solar and Net Metering


A New Solar Electric System

IMPORTANT – Deadlines to Address ESSB 5939’s Funding Limit (10-9-18)

Due to the high level of interest in the Renewable Energy System Incentive Program and the funding limitations prescribed in the governing legislation, the Washington State University Solar Program has established the following requirements, which will govern the incentive program's closure.

Residential-Scale & Commercial-Scale Projects

  • Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Feb. 14, 2019 and have a final electrical inspection date no later than Jan. 31, 2019.
  • Applications received after Feb. 14, 2019, or that have a final electrical inspection date after Jan 31, 2019, will be places on a waitlist and will be processed only if funds are available. 

Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill (ESSB) 5939 was signed into law by the Governor in July 2017, and the WSU Energy Program began administering the new incentive program on October 1, 2017. All Tacoma Power customers receiving solar incentive payments as of June 30, 2017, will continue to receive incentives paid under the prior program through June 30, 2020. Customers enrolled in the new program after October 1, 2017, will receive incentives under the new program.

Tacoma Power is in the process of updating our online information to reflect the updated solar incentives program. Click here for the latest information on the new solar incentives.


Net metering

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.

Customer Requirements for Production Metering

Is solar right for me?

If you own your home, have a roof in good condition, and little to no shading on your south or west facing roof, solar might be an option. Visit the solar estimator to help calculate your potential state incentive and to see if solar makes financial sense for your home. 

The WattPlan solar estimator is an independent third party tool designed by Clean Power Research to help customers make informed decisions about investing in solar.

Net Metering Steps

1. Submit the following by mail to:
Customer Energy Programs, 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.

4. 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.)

5. Renewable Energy System Certification
- To receive payment for your renewable energy production, you must register your system with Washington State University - http://www.energy.wsu.edu/RenewableEnergySystemIncentiveProgram.aspx

Questions?
Contact Customer Energy Programs at (253) 502-8363.