Solar Tariff Rebate New HampshireThe Granite State has already been a solar leader in New England with their generous $6,000 cash rebate for residential solar electric systems up to 5kw as well as an average $1,500 rebate for solar hot water.

Now New Hampshire has taken the next step – mandating utilities to pay the customer for excess electric generation!

Yes, New Hampshire now requires utilities to pay customers when their solar electric system generates more electricity than they use.

The legislation, House Bill (HB) 1353 states that:

the customer-generator may elect to be paid or credited by the electric distribution utility for its excess generation at rates that are equal to the utility’s avoided costs for energy and capacity to provide default service as determined by the commission consistent with the requirements of the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA)

Emphasis Added

Wow!

How Much Will I Be Reimbursed?

In Germany, getting paid for solar electric generation is well-known, the special rate that you receive for excess solar electric generation is called a feed-in tariff.

New Hampshire’s program is a bit different, in that customers will get reimbursed closer to market rates for electricity, rather than a special “feed in” rate (which, in Germany, generates a roughly 8% return on investment for owners of solar systems).

The legislation puts it this way:

Each net energy metering tariff shall be identical, with respect to rates, rate structure, and charges, to the tariff under which a customer-generator would otherwise take default generation supply service from the distribution utility.

While the legislation is still in the process, should the full distribution cost of electricity be included in the reimbursement, that would result in a rate of close to .15c/kwh. We will post a follow-up once we better understand the details of the program!

When Can I Get Started?

The legislation is marked to be effective August 13, 2010.

In the meantime, solar electricity continues to spin your meter backwards and reduce your electric bill to zero so there’s no reason to wait!

Contact us to keep updated as we discover more details about this exciting new program (which hopefully shall inspire neighboring states to follow suit).