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: