In September of this year, many including SkyFire were taken aback when SaskPower decided to end the rebates and the net-metering program in Saskatchewan within 1 day’s notice. There was a sense that the rebates were running out with the significant uptake of solar installation in the province however ending the net metering program was unprecedented.
In a bad luck, good luck scenario SkyFire Regina had an open house planned for Saturday, September 21st (two days after the announcement) which quickly turned to a solar rally to speak out against this drastic decision. Individuals, media, customers and other solar businesses attended the event resulting in negative media pressure on Saskpower to amend their decision.
The high level of interest in Solar in Saskatchewan translated into the previous program hitting its 16-megawatt (MW) cap two years earlier than expected. SaskPower sited they underestimated the uptake of the program and what it would cost to maintain it as it was. In the previous program, any excess energy sent to the grid was credited with the same retail rate against the customer’s energy charge. (15 cents/kWh)
The new Net Metering program allows customers to generate up to 100 kilowatts of power to decrease their monthly power bills and get credit for the excess power they generate. Under the updated program, customers will still be able to offset their energy use at their retail rate while their systems are generating. Any excess energy sent to the grid will be credited at 7.5 cents/kWh against the customer’s energy charge. Half of what solar owners were receiving before.
Although the new program is not as generous to homeowners and businesses the numbers still make sense. The time to pay back an average home is now an estimated 15 years instead of 10 however customers will see a reduction in their power bill immediately. The good news is Saskatchewan’s amazing solar resource and the positive environmental impacts are two things that will never be affected by a policy!
If you are interested in understanding what solar magic could look like for your home or business be sure to contact us for a free consultation. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.
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