Last week Rocky Mountain Power announced a change that affects solar energy customers in Utah. Everyone was surprised when Rocky Mountain power made this announcement. We knew changes were happening, but we didn’t anticipate them to happen over the weekend! As Utah’s most trusted solar company, we sat down to answer your pressing questions.
Q: What actually changed with the recent Net Metering announcement from Rocky Mountain Power?
A: On Oct 30, 2020, Rocky Mountain Power lowered the export credit rate for their customers with solar. This refers to the excess power produced by solar panels and sent back to the power company through the grid. Rocky Mountain Power credits their customers for this excess power sent back onto the grid. That credit rate used to be about 9 cents per kWh and as of Oct 31st, is now about 6 cents per kWh. Many states don’t offer ANY solar credits, so the fact the Rocky Mountain Power still offers one, is a good thing.
Q: Does this mean solar is no longer a good investment for Utah homeowners?
A: No! Solar is still a great option in Utah. As has always been the case with solar, it really depends on your home, your usage habits and your priorities. For someone who wants to lower their carbon footprint and own more of their own power, without paying more, solar is still the best way to go. In fact, most people in Utah will still save money monthly by adding solar panels to their roof. Not to mention that starting in 2021 homeowners will get a 22% federal tax credit and a $1,200 Utah State Tax Credit for installing solar panels on their home. For most people that amounts to a $5,000+ boost on your next tax return!
Q: Does this affect me if I already have solar?
A: Existing solar customers are grandfathered into the old rate until December 31st, 2032. So if you already have solar, your credit rate stays the same for at least another 12 years (or 15 years, if you installed solar before 2017). After that, your rates will change to whatever the current rates are at that time.
Q: How does this affect my options if I’m considering going solar?
A: These changes solidify Mynt Solar even more as the best solar company in Utah for a few reasons:
- Because Mynt Solar is a Utah-based company, we understand exactly how these changes affect homeowners and we’ve already made changes to lower our prices to make sure that our neighbors here in Utah can still save money going solar.
- Because many larger, national companies selling solar in Utah will be forced to raise their prices or shift their focus to other states.
- Because Mynt Solar is a home services contractor, not a sales company, we serve as a consultant to our customers, helping them find new ways to be efficient and save money with or without solar.
Q: What can I do to minimize the effect of this change on my power bill?
A: Once you have solar, there are several things you can do to optimize your solar energy production. Even at the previous rate, the best way to take full advantage of your solar panels is to use the power you produce and not send it back to the grid at all. Here are some tips to use more of the power you produce:
1. Shift Your Usage Habits to Daytime Hours
When your home uses power while the sun is hitting your panels, you get 100% of that power at no charge. It’s only when you don’t use it that it goes back onto the grid. So if you do the dishes or laundry during the day, it will cost you less than doing it at night. Switch your power usage habits to sunny days and daytime hours and you’ll notice a big difference in your power bill.
2. Install a Backup Battery
With a backup battery, excess power is stored instead of being sent back through the grid, which means you save money on that power. Home batteries have traditionally been quite expensive, but Mynt Solar is working with multiple manufacturers to provide Utah homeowners with the best batteries on the market. Plus, you’ll also have an emergency backup power supply for your home, should the grid ever go down.
3. Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Anytime you can use less power and increase your energy efficiency it will make your solar energy system more beneficial. Try implementing as many of these tips as possible: Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs, install smart switches and outlets, upgrade to a smart thermostat, upgrade appliances to higher efficiency models, increase your home’s insulation, order a blower door test to ensure your home is properly sealed or upgrade your windows to the most efficient model available.