Community Solar   Rooftop Solar   Green Power Program  

Is solar right for you?

Benton PUD recognizes many customers who install solar are not entirely motivated by their financial return on investment (ROI).  If ROI is important to you and because ROI is so dependent on installed cost assumptions which can vary over a wide range, we recommend asking your solar installer to provide you with the financial analysis and underlying assumptions regarding costs and benefits to identify approximately how many years it will take you to recoup your financial investment.

Based on data provided by the Washington State University Energy Program for actual installations, our most recent analysis shows a break-even ranging from 10 to 40 years and an average of around 25 years.  This wide range of outcomes means it is essential to get multiple bids from solar installers and to have them identify their underlying cost and benefit assumptions.
 

SOLAR ECONOMICS - ESTIMATED ROI

ROI depends on a number of variables:

  • Solar system size (i.e. number of panels)
  • Location of solar panels
  • Installation costs
  • Net Metering (Utility billing credits for customer generation)
  • Tax Incentives (Only Federal tax credits are currently available)
  • Equipment maintenance costs
  • Future utility energy rates
  • Solar panel degradation
  • Inflation
For additional information on purchasing solar, please refer to Benton PUD's Rooftop Solar Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Benton PUD's Net Metering Program

Benton PUD's Net Metering program lets you install a renewable energy system (solar panels or windmill) to offset your energy needs.  You receive full retail rate credit each month for generation from your system.  Excess generation at the end of each bill period is carried over to the next bill period as a credit.  On April 30 of each year, any excess generation accumulated is given back to Benton PUD.

Net-Metering
 

Enrolling in Benton PUD's Net Metering Program

When installing solar panels, please follow these steps to enroll in our net metering program. 

Note:  Please consult Benton PUD for systems over 100 kW.

  1. Contact a solar installer- make sure they are properly licensed, bonded and have experience interconnecting systems in Washington State. 
  2. Complete and submit the following:
    1. Net Metering Application without Production Incentives Risk Acknowledgment form
    2. Net Metering Interconnection Agreement.  See Benton PUD Net Metering Interconnection Standards
    3. Electrical schematic drawing.  See sample Benton PUD Electrical schematic drawing
    4. Verification that your inverter is UL1741 listed
  3. Submit a Net Metering Certificate of Completion to Benton PUD.  To obtain a Net Metering Certificate of Completion you must have an inspection completed by both Benton PUD and Washington State Labor & Industries.  Once completed, Benton PUD will schedule the installation of a bi-directional meter on the main electric service and a production meter on the solar system.

If you have any questions during your enrollment process contact Engineering at (509) 582-1230.