SSREC’s Guide to BC Hydro’s Net Metering Questionnaire

By |2023-07-17T22:20:59-07:00July 17th, 2023|Categories: Advocacy, Articles|

Last March and April, BC Hydro held two workshops on net metering as part of a series of engagement activities for their net metering program. As part of the activities, a questionnaire was sent out to participants and net-metering customers to comment on possible policy changes. The questionnaire is now closed but it may be of interest to Co-op members and readers to learn more about the ins and outs of net metering policy-making; and SSREC’s position.

In short, SSREC’s position is: “For now, we should make a very strong effort to support the current net metering policy and NM rate and help the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) in their initiative to force BC Hydro to do a proper consultation on Virtual (Community) Net Metering”.

BC Hydro will be conducting net metering related engagement activities throughout 2023 – more information and updates are available at BC Hydro Net Metering Program. There are also a variety of ways you can get involved in rate design at BC Hydro.

Guide to respond to BC Hydro’s questionnaires on two Net metering sessions Mar/April 2023

Rank the compensation mechanisms in your order of preference.

Response: Traditional

Don’t rank the others because they are all unsuitable.

Rank each compensation mechanism in your order of preference for commercial customers:

Response: Traditional

Don’t rank the others as they are all unacceptable

General comments about compensation mechanisms

BCH hasn’t provided any evidence that the current system of compensating NM customers in kilowatt hours and reconciling at the end of the year is not working. The system works well for many reasons:

  • The currency of kilowatt hours makes sense as it encourages people to conserve energy and be aware of the energy they are using in the correct currency for energy
  • Compensation is not monetized, since it trades kWh for kWh, unless people have excess production over the year. Very few people do.
  • Reconciling over a year makes sense because of the seasonal variability in energy use, production and climate and it is the simplest
  • BCH should be compensating net metering customers for their personal outlay in providing energy to the grid – BCH does not consider the benefit of receiving almost emission-free energy with no outlay.
  • Energy input from NM customers […]