Generating your own electricity
Generation options for homes, businesses
Our net metering program is designed for those who generate electricity for their own use. When you generate more than you need, you sell it to us. When you don't generate enough to meet your needs, you buy it from us.
When you sell to us, you get a bill credit towards your future electricity use. If you still have an excess credit at your anniversary date of joining the program, we'll pay you for the electricity at the rate of 9.99 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). It's that simple.
By the numbers
- Since 2004, over 900 customers have been participating in our net metering program.
- Over 95% of customers chose to install a solar photovoltaic system.
- A typical home generally consumes 11,000 kWh/year. A typical solar installation on a residential roof is 4 kilowatt (kW) in size with 16 solar panels, which in B.C., generates 4,400 kWh of electricity over a year.
- On average, solar systems of this size can cost about $14,500. Based on BC Hydro's step 2 of its Residential Conservation Rate, payback on your investment is about 23 years (including savings from the Rate Rider and GST).
All our customers whose electricity generators meet the following criteria are welcome to participate:
- Be owned or leased by the customer
- Connect to our distribution system
- Use 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
Take a look at Rate Schedule – 1289 Net Metering Service [PDF, 322 KB] for further eligibility requirements
How to apply
- How to read your new net metering bill [PDF, 156 KB]
- Distribution Generation Interconnection Practices [PDF, 324 KB]
- Customer generation options at-a-glance [PDF, 54 KB]
Net metering stories, video
Engagement & presentations
April 10, 2017
Thanks to your feedback, we're getting better
In February, we asked you to participate in a survey to help us identify areas where we can better meet your needs. Thanks for being part of what was an awesome response, with over 230 surveys submitted.
The feedback also informs our Net Metering Evaluation Report that will be submitted to the BC Utilities Commission on April 30. The report will be available online.
Our upgraded website, and a look at solar in Alert Bay
We refreshed our net metering information on this site at the start of 2017. And for those planning to install a new generator or modify their existing one, we have streamlined our Simple [PDF, 350 KB] and Complex [PDF, 359 KB] interconnection application forms. We are also updating our technical interconnection requirements (DGTIR-100 [PDF, 593 KB]), an important document for your professional installers and do-it-yourselfers. The updated DGTIR-100 will be available in late spring.
Don't miss our net metering stories, including this month's story and photos about the Village of Alert Bay's bold move towards net metering.
September 23, 2016
Projects in our Non-Integrated Areas:
BC Hydro will be performing a thorough technical review of all net metering applications received for projects located in our Non-Integrated Areas (NIA). Because the NIA systems are balancing a variety of resources against the load (including diesel, existing or proposed IPP renewable generation and new intermittent renewable energy via net metering) it will require a deeper and more detailed review of each individual net metering application to ensure that BC Hydro continues to provide reliable and cost-effective electricity to its NIA customers. BC Hydro strongly recommends that NIA customers do not purchase their generating equipment until their net metering application is accepted by BC Hydro.
November 15, 2015
Clarification on Rate Schedule 1289 "Net Metering Service" as it applies to our customers that chose to keep their legacy meters:
- BC Hydro's Electric Tariff and Measurement Canada require that bi-directional meters be used for net metering purposes. Bi-directional meters are required for measuring both a customer's electricity inflow and outflow for net metering billing. Legacy meters are not bi-directional and we can't accept net metering applications from customers with a legacy meter.
- Smart meters are the only bi-directional meters offered by BC Hydro to our customers. BC Hydro's Meter Choices program includes an option of a radio-off smart meter that meets the requirements of the net metering program. To have a legacy meter replaced with a smart meter, please contact the customer metering team at 1 800 409 8199, or by email.
Sun shines on Alert Bay
On the rainy central coast, a small town discovers power of the sun.
Kamloops woman installs solar panels to generate her own electricity
A woman living in Kamloops installed solar panels on her home and in the summer found that she generated more electricity than she used.
Solar panels the top choice in selling electricity back to BC Hydro
Installing solar panels is only one way you can generate your own electricity. And we'll buy any of that energy you don't use.
Generate electricity, and sell some of it to BC Hydro
What you should consider in adding solar generation at your home and connecting to the BC Hydro grid.
Solar panels 'Eliminate' electricity bills at Dawson Creek office
It appears there are significant side effects to getting close to solar power. It's a condition we'll call photovoltaic-itis, and it manifests itself in shrinking electricity bills and the onset of giddiness.
YouTube video: Solar power and BC Hydro net metering
Walk through the process of installing a net metered solar electric system in British Columbia.