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.

Read stories about net metering customers

By the numbers

  • Since 2004, over 1,330 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).

Who's eligible

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
  • Generation is sized to meet customer's annual usage

Take a look at the amended Rate Schedule – 1289 Net Metering Service [PDF, 98 KB] for further eligibility requirements.

How to apply

Other resources

Documents

Net metering stories, video

See what others have done.

Engagement & presentations

Details on our past and upcoming workshops.

Latest updates

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.


Net metering stories, video

Sun shines on Alert Bay

On the rainy central coast, a small town discovers power of the sun.

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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.

Learn more >


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.

Learn more >


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.

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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.

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YouTube video: Solar power and BC Hydro net metering

Walk through the process of installing a net metered solar electric system in British Columbia.

Learn more >