Bob Pierce answers questions about energy efficiency, consumer products, and cooperative governance. He is Clearwater Power’s Chief Operating Officer and welcomes your questions on our Ask Bob page.
Q: In a previous issue of Ruralite, you talked about a net-metering nameplate capacity limit of 25 kW for residential and small commercial accounts. Why is there this limit?
A: This is a good question to ask. Clearwater Power strives to remain neutral for people who want to offset their grid power consumption. We don’t want to be a barrier but we must also ensure that other members who have net metering are not being subsidized by those who do not. To achieve that goal, we have determined that a 25 kW net-metering limit is the right middle-ground to ensure that consumers are able to offset the majority of their use, using our power grid as their battery so to speak, without over-producing and therefore insulating non-net metering consumers from monetary subsidies.
I should also point out that the 25kW net metering limit is per meter not per customer. So, people who own a home and shop with two meters can install solar at each location. We also allow a higher limit (100kW) for large commercial accounts. To qualify for that rate class, there is a higher minimum level of consumption, so we allow for a higher level of net metering.