Electric Policies

Net Metering Policy

Net Metering Policy

Okanogan County PUD offers Net Metering to customers who wish to generate their own electricity with fuel cells or solar, wind or hydro powered electric systems of 25 kilowatt or less in generating capacity. Once Okanogan County PUD reviews and approves a customer-owned electric generation system, net metering allows a customer to be connected to the utility’s distribution system. Any excess electricity generated by a customer can be credited to the customer’s next bill at the same rate they are charged for electricity. To Download and Print a Contract as an Adobe.pdf file follow this link:  Net Metering

Net Metering Overview

For customers who generate their own electricity using small-scale energy systems, net metering measures the difference between the electricity you buy from Okanogan County PUD and the excess electricity you produce using your own generating equipment.

Your electric meter keeps track of this “net” difference as you generate excess electricity and take electricity from the electric grid.

How Net Metering Works

Basically, net metering is a special metering and billing arrangement between you and Okanogan County PUD.

Normally, your electric meter runs “forward” as it measures the amount of electricity that the PUD sends into your home or business.

If your generation system makes more electricity than you need at any given time, net metering allows this electricity to run “backward” through the meter and out into the electric grid. This causes the meter to run in reverse, which means you get full retail value for the electricity you generate.

Net metering can usually be accomplished using a special meter at your home or business. In some cases, the PUD or the customer may choose to install an additional meter to separately measure the output of your generating system. If this is the case, the electricity generated will be subtracted from the electricity consumed by the customer to determine the net consumption or net excess generation (NEG).

Billing

Just as we do now, we will continue to read your meter and you will receive electric bills on your normal billing schedule.

If you use more energy than you generate in a given billing cycle, you would be a “net consumer,” and the net consumption would appear as a charge on the current bill.

If your meter ran backward more than forward in a given billing cycle, you would be a “net generator” for that billing cycle, and the NEG would appear as a credit on your next bill.

In all cases, a monthly minimum customer charge will be applied. This is the same charge that applies to all customers, regardless of whether or not they are net metering customers.

Benefits of Net Metering

By generating your own electricity, you reduce your electricity bills.

With a net metering arrangement, any excess electricity that you generate and do not use can be fed back to the utility, which will again reduce your electricity bill. Your excess electricity now offsets electricity you would otherwise have to buy at full retail prices, and this makes owning your own generating system more cost-effective.

Without net metering, one alternative would be to purchase batteries to store the excess power for later use. Having your own battery storage for electricity is very expensive, and would typically only benefit you during a period when the District’s power is off for some reason. We suggest serious consideration be given to this cost/benefit issue before choosing to install a battery back-up system.

Net metering customers may also participate in the District's SNAP (Sustainable Natural Alternative Power) program as a producer.  SNAP producers are eligible to receive a portion of the SNAP program funds as production credits to help offset the initial purchase of their system.

Another alternative to net metering is to arrange for metering and sale of the electricity you generate as a “qualifying facility” under PURPA rules. Typically, this type of installation is more expensive, since separate metering equipment is required. In addition, all electricity you generate would be credited at the District’s “avoided cost,” which is usually less than half the retail rate. Net metering allows you to get credit for most of the energy you generate at the retail rate.

Eligibility for Net Metering

In Washington, any electricity customer who generates at least some of their electricity is potentially eligible for net metering.

Solar, hydro, wind or some combination of these resources must power your generating system.  It could also be a fuel cell. Other types of generating systems are not eligible for net metering.

The generating system has a capacity of not more than 25 kilowatts.

Technical requirements

A net metering system used by a home owner or business must include, at the customer’s own expense, all equipment necessary to meet applicable safety, power quality, and interconnection requirements established by the National Electrical Code (NEC), national electrical safety code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and any applicable state and local agencies.

These Interconnection Standards are listed after the Okanogan County PUD’s Net Metering Application in this packet.

Okanogan County PUD must approve your system before you connect to the electric grid.

New Customer Deposit Policy

New Customer Deposit Policy

If you are a new customer of the Okanogan County PUD, there is a deposit requirement which needs to be met prior to opening your new electrical service account.  You are considered a new customer if you have not had an active account with the Okanogan PUD within the past 12 months.

New account holders are required to give the PUD basic personal information for identification purposes in addition to paying their deposit.  This information remains confidential, and is to be used for positive identification and location of customers only. 

For a new residential customer meeting the above requirements we require a deposit payment of $150.00.

Alternatives to Paying a Deposit

If you know someone who owns or is buying their own home and has an active account with a good credit rating of at least one year with the PUD they may co-sign, or guarantee your account. This means they agree to be liable for any unpaid balances and accrued charges in the event your closing bill is left unpaid.

If you have had an existing account within the past 12 months with another Utility company, we may accept a letter of credit in lieu of a deposit. Your letter of credit needs to reflect no more than one late notice in the last 12 months. It also needs to show that you had an active electric account for at least one year. 

Deposits are kept on your account for a period of one full year. If you have paid all bills in a timely manner, with no more than one late charge or disconnect notices, this deposit will be applied to your current account as a credit. If you have more than one late notice or disconnect notices during this year, your deposit will be held until you have a one year history with no more than one late notice. Other events such as the receipt of an NSF check may delay refunding of your deposit.