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, we'll pay you for the electricity at the market price. It's that simple.
By the numbers
- Since 2004, over 2,800 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
How to apply
- Rate Schedule 1289 Net Metering Service [PDF, 976 KB]
- How to read your new net metering bill [PDF, 156 KB]
- Distribution Generation Interconnection Practices [PDF, 270 KB]
- Customer generation options at-a-glance [PDF, 54 KB]
- Net Metering Evaluation Report #4 [PDF, 1.0 MB]
Net metering stories, video
Engagement & presentations
October 30, 2020
BC Hydro submitted an evaluation report [PDF, 2.2MB] to the B.C. Utilities Commission.
September 15, 2020
BC Hydro will be sending an evaluation report to the BC Utilities Commission by October 31, 2020. To help inform the report, we asked you to share your views in the survey. The survey closed on September 25, 2020.
August 19, 2020
The new Rate Schedule 1289 Net Metering Service [PDF, 976 KB] effective June 23, 2020 has been posted.
July 22, 2020
In a recent decision, the BCUC approved changes to the Net Metering program.
These changes will provide customers with increased opportunities to offset their load while ensuring the price paid for excess energy is aligned with the wholesale electricity market and reflects its value to BC Hydro.
The main changes approved by the BCUC:
- Lower the price paid for the annual surplus energy to a market price, updated each year;
- Provide a transitional energy price of 9.99 cents per kWh to existing customers until April 2024;
- Remove the interim requirement to limit a customer's generation size to the annual load; and
- Assign a March 1 anniversary date with one complimentary opportunity to choose an alternative date after.
How these changes impact customers:
- If your net metering application was accepted before April 29, 2019, you'll continue to receive the transitional energy price of 9.99 per kWh until April 2024, then move to the market price.
- If your net metering application was accepted on or after April 29, 2019, you'll receive the market price for surplus energy.
- Customers applying to the program will not be required to limit the generation size to the annual load and can apply for a generating facility up to 100 kW.
- All customers will have a March 1 anniversary date set to allow the best opportunity to offset their BC Hydro energy costs by applying their generation credits over fall and winter months. Customers have one opportunity to choose an alternative anniversary date after.
We'll be implementing these changes in the coming months.
June 25, 2020
On June 23, 2020 the B.C. Utilities Commission issued the Decision on BC Hydro's Application to Amend Net Metering Service under Rate Schedule 1289 [PDF, 3.1 MB] for changes to the Net Metering Program.
May 17, 2019
For the latest updates on the BC Hydro Application to Amend Net Metering Service under Rate Schedule 1289 please visit the B.C. Utilities Commission website.
April 29, 2019
BC Hydro submitted an application [PDF, 3.4 MB] to the B.C. Utilities Commission for changes to the Net Metering program.
March 26, 2019
Due to high demand, on April 1, 2019, BC Hydro hosted an additional online information session on the proposed changes to the Net Metering program. View the webinar's presentation [PDF, 254 KB].
Please note that this was a repeat of our session delivered on March 18, 2019.
March 19, 2019
BC Hydro is proposing changes to the Net Metering program and will be filing an application to the BCUC by April 30, 2019. To help inform the application, we asked to share your views on proposed changes in the survey. The survey closed on April 9, 2019.
March 4, 2019
On March 18, 2019 BC Hydro hosted the webinar on proposed changes to the Net Metering program. Read about the webinar's presentation [PDF, 253 KB].
October 12, 2018
For the latest updates on BC Hydro Application to Amend Net Metering Service under Rate Schedule 1289 (Project No. 1598958) please visit B.C. Utilities Commission website.
April 20, 2018
We're changing eligibility requirements for our net metering program. Applicants are now required to size their generation to meet their electricity needs.
You won't be affected by these changes if you:
- Are already a net metering customer, who has been approved to connect and generate electricity
- Have applied for net metering and received an email confirming that your application is acceptable
- Are proposing a generating facility sized to generate an amount of electricity that isn't more than what you require for your own needs each year.
What's changing? Generation can't exceed electricity needs
BC Hydro's net metering program is designed so that customers can generate and connect clean or renewable generation for their own needs.
We've found that while most of the program's 1,330 customers are only generating enough power to offset their usage, some have oversized their generation. Some have consistent large annual surplus payouts, a situation that was never intended and which isn't in the best interests of our customers as a whole.
We've submitted an application [PDF, 845 KB] to the B.C. Utilities Commission to amend the net metering program so that it isn't available to customers who are proposing to oversize their generating facility beyond their own energy needs.
This is an interim step while we undertake a broader review of the program, and we're planning to complete the review and file an application with the B.C. Utilities Commission by the end of the calendar year 2018.
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.
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.