Net Metering in Washington

Net Metering

Only 30 ft tall kicks in at 6mph and at 12mph produces 36kw enough to power 30 average homes

Last Updated December 1, 2015

Program Overview

    • Implementing Sector:


    • Category:

      Regulatory Policy

    • State:


    • Incentive Type:

      Net Metering

    • Utilities:

      Alder Mutual Light Co, Inc, PUD No 1 of Benton County, Benton Rural Electric Assn, Big Bend Electric Coop, Inc, City of Blaine, City of Centralia, PUD No 1 of Chelan County, City of Cheney, City of Chewelah, PUD No 1 of Clallam County, PUD No 1 of Clark County, Clearwater Power Company, Columbia Rural Elec Assn, Inc, City of Coulee Dam, PUD No 1 of Cowlitz County, PUD No 1 of Douglas County, City of East Point, Town of Eatonville, Elmhurst Mutual Power & Light Co, City of Ellensburg, PUD No 1 of Ferry County, PUD No 1 of Franklin County, PUD No 1 of Grays Harbor Cnty, Inland Power & Light Company, PUD No 1 of Kittitas County, PUD No 1 of Klickitat County, Kootenai Electric Coop Inc, Lakeview Light & Power, PUD No 1 of Lewis County, City of McCleary, City of Milton, Modern Electric Water Company, Nespelem Valley Elec Coop, Inc, Northern Lights, Inc, Ohop Mutual Light Company, Inc, PUD No 1 of Okanogan County, Okanogan County Elec Coop, Inc, Orcas Power & Light Coop, Public Utility District No 2, PacifiCorp, Parkland Light & Water Company, PUD No 2 of Grant County, PUD No 1 of Pend Oreille Cnty, Peninsula Light Company, PUD No 1 of Asotin County, Port Angeles City of, Public Utility District No 1, PUD No 3 of Mason County, Puget Sound Energy Inc, City of Richland, Town of Ruston, Seattle City of, PUD No 1 of Skamania Co, Snohomish County PUD No 1, Town of Steilacoom, City of Sumas, Tacoma City of, Tanner Electric Coop, Vera Irrigation District #15, Avista Corp, PUD No 1 of Mason County, PUD No 1 of Whatcom County, Cashmere Light Dept.

    • Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:

      Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Photovoltaics, Wind (All), Hydroelectric, Combined Heat & Power, Fuel Cells using Non-Renewable Fuels, Wind (Small), Hydroelectric (Small), Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels

    • Applicable Sectors:

      Commercial, Industrial, Local Government, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools, State Government, Federal Government, Low Income Residential, Institutional

    • Applicable Utilities:

      All utilities

    • System Capacity Limit:

      100 kW

    • Aggregate Capacity Limit:

      0.5% of utility’s 1996 peak demand

    • Net Excess Generation:

      Credited to customer’s next bill at retail rate; granted to utility at end of 12-month billing period

    • Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits:

      Not specified

    • Meter Aggregation:

      Allowed (up to 100 kW)


Washington’s net-metering law applies to systems up to 100 kilowatts (kW) in capacity that generate electricity using solar, wind, hydro, biogas from animal waste, fuel cells, or combined heat and power technologies. All customer classes are eligible, and all utilities — including municipal utilities and electric cooperatives — must offer net metering.

Net metering is available on a first-come, first-served basis until the cumulative generating capacity of net-metered systems equals 0.5% of a utility’s peak demand during 1996.* At least one-half of the utility’s available aggregate net metering capacity is reserved for systems generating electricity using renewable energy.

Although the utility must provide a single, bi-directional meter, the customer must provide the current transformer enclosure (if required), the meter socket or sockets, and junction box. Net excess generation (NEG) is credited to the customer’s next bill at the utility’s retail rate. However, on April 30 of each calendar year, any remaining NEG is surrendered to the utility without compensation to the customer. Meter aggregation, the combination of readings from and billings for all meters on property owned or leased by a customer within a single utility’s service territory, is provided at a customer’s request. (Meter aggregation is limited to 100 kW per customer.) The electricity produced by a meter-aggregated customer is first used to offset electricity provided by the utility to that customer; any excess kilowatt-hours from a billing period will be credited equally to the customer’s remaining meters.

Net-metered systems must include all equipment necessary to meet applicable safety, power quality and interconnection requirements established by the National Electric Code, the National Electric Safety Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Utilities may not require net-metered customers to comply with additional safety or performance standards, or to purchase additional liability insurance. Utilities also may not charge customers any additional standby, capacity, interconnection, or other fee or charge without approval from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC). Utilities are not liable for damage caused by net-metered systems.

Taking advantage of Washington’s Renewable Energy Production Incentives does not reduce or impact savings achieved through net metering. However, utilities may require separate metering for production, and customers must pay all costs associated with the installation of production metering. While the ownership of renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with generation is not specified in the state’s net-metering law, the production incentive law states that customer-generators retain ownership of RECs.

*The aggregate capacity limit was 0.25% in previous years, and increased to 0.5% on January 1, 2014.


    • Date Enacted:


  • Phil Lou

  • Organization:

    Washington State University

  • Address:

    PO Box 43165
    Olympia, WA 98504-3165

  • Phone:

    (360) 956-2132

  • E-Mail:


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost per kW of CWC’s turbines compared to conventional power technology?

The CWC 36kW cost is $2013 per kW of power production capacity. According to the AWEA, the average cost for electricity production capacity in the USA is $6096 per kW —- 303% higher.

Who is CWC’s competition?

We are aware of 334 companies in the small wind turbine space. Most of them only produce very small turbines (under 10kW).  None of them price their electricity production capacity anywhere as low as Change Wind’s price ($2013 per kW,  i.e. $72,440 per turbine).

Is the CWC 36kW competitive with 3-blade horizontal axis turbines? 

Yes, very much so.  On a cost per kW basis, the CWC 36kW sells for 72% below the competition in small and medium turbines.  It pruduces electricity using turbulent air only 10 meters over the surface, cutting in at just 6 mph, and reaching optimal efficiency at 12 mph.  Since it captures wind from any direction it does not have to be mechanically turned into the wind direction.

Are there any service issues I should be concerned about?

The CWC 36kW comes with a 10 year warranty which can be extended an additional 10 years as long as the annual maintenance has been carried out. The turbine needs an inspection, oil change, lubrication, electronics check, and power wash every 100,000 kWh, approximately once each year, costing roughly $500 in most areas.

How is Change Wind able to price its turbines so low?  

Change Wind passes along to customers the benefit of high efficiency and low cost manufacturing.   Production is performed at a re-purposed New England wire factory building obtained at below market cost, with on-site hydro-electric power at 66% below market cost.  The company uses state-of-the-art CNC and robotic machinery, extracting its craftsmanship from the sophisticated machinery and tools, not from expensive workmen.


Are there tax incentives for on-site wind systems?

On October 3, 2008, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, H.R. 1424, was enacted into law.  It includes a federal-level investment tax credit to help consumers purchase wind turbines for home, farm, or business use.  Owners of systems with 100 kW of capacity or less can receive a credit of 30% of the installed cost of the system.  It is available for equipment installed through December 31, 2016.  Source: