BC Hydro Net Metering Program

The Net Metering Program in British Columbia allows renewable energies, such as solar, wind, and hydro or any energy defined in B.C.’s Clean Energy Act to become micro-generators. Three wire service providers, BC Hydro, Fortis BC and Nelson Hydro determine renewable energy rates in their respective service areas (see map)

Service area of BC Hydro, Fortis BC, and Nelson Hydro

BC service map

Under BC Net Metering rules, the excess of solar or renewable energy not consumed at the site can be sold at a credit rate determined by service providers. Also, solar energy generated and consumed at the site, offsets the energy charges that otherwise would have been paid to service providers. Both BC Hydro and Fortis BC have a two-tier pricing system where after a pre-determined amount of electricity usage in a billing period the electricity rate in $/kWh increases.

Key Net Metering rules, Net Metering credit rates and energy charges are summarized below:

2018 British Columbia Solar and Energy Rates

Provider Type Credit $/KWh Teir 1 $/KWh Teir 2 $/KWh Tier 2 KWh Billing
BC Hydro: Residential 0.0999 0.0884+5% 0.1326+5% Above 1,350 kWh in 2-month period (~22.1918 kWh/day)
Farm (Exempt Residential Service) 0.0999 0.1059+5% 0.1059+5% No Second Tier
Small Business

(Peak < 35kW)

0.0999 0.1173+5% 0.1173+5% No Second Tier
Medium Business

(35kW to 150kW)

0.0999 0.0906+5% 0.0906+5% No Second Tier
Large Business

(Peak > 150kW)

0.0999 0.0567+5% 0.0567+5% No Second Tier
Irrigation

(During Mar-Oct)

0.0999 0.0573+5% 0.0573+5% No Second Tier
Irrigation

(During Nov-Feb)

0.0999 0.0573+5% 0.4541+5% Above 150kWh in 4-month period
Fortis BC: Residential Same As Energy 0.10117 0.15617 After 1,600***
Small Commercial Same as Energy 0.10195 0.10195 No second tier
Commercial Same as Energy 0.08663 0.07191 After 8,000
Nelson Hydro: Residential Same as Energy 0.09712 0.09712 No second tier
Small Commercial Urban Same As Energy 0.011068 0.011068 No Second Tier
Small Commercial Rural Same as Energy 0.01140 0.01140 No Second Tier

Notes:

Note1:  There are some other rate structures unique to certain communities in BC, not shown in this table.  

Note2:  This table represents rates as of Aug 24, 2018.

Note3:  Medium Business pays $5.07/kW demand charge, Large Business pays $11.55/kW demand charge.

Note4: In Part 2, you receive a credit for using less electricity than your baseline, or a charge for using more.

Note5: Fortis BC uses a 60 day billing period

Rates are subject to change

BC hydro net metering rules

BC Hydro net-metering requirements are:

  • The solar system must be under 100kW
  • A solar system over 5kW may be required to pay a “Net Metering Site Acceptance Verification Fee” if BC Hydro deems it necessary
  • At the end of a year BC Hydro pays out the credited amount.

Fortis BC net metering rules

FortisBC requirements to be eligible for the Net Metering Program are:

  • The proposed site must have a capacity of 50kW or less
  • For any system over 5kW Fortis must be provided with a step-by-step guide to how the system will be energized

Nelson hydro net metering rules

Some additional Nelson Hydro requirements are:

  • Projects larger than 25kW and smaller than 250 KW require special considerations with rates determined based on economic benefit to Nelson Hydro