Net Metering

Cowlitz PUD’s Net Metering program offers a special metering and billing arrangement between you and the PUD by interconnecting your small generation system with the PUD’s electric distribution system through your electric meter.

  • Qualified customer-generating systems may include fuel cells or facilities that use a fuel to generate up to 100 kilowatts (kW) of electricity with the following methods:
    • Water
    • Wind
    • Solar energy
    • Biogas from animal waste

For more information about Net Metering, Cowlitz PUD’s Interconnection Standards, and the State incentive payments program, please contact our Energy Efficiency Services Department at (360) 501‐9555 or by email. You may also come in to our office Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 961 12th Avenue in Longview.

How Net Metering Works

  • There may be times, when your own small generation system produces more electricity than you need, for your own use. During these times, with a PUD‐approved interconnection in place, this excess electricity will be transmitted into the electric grid.
  • Prior to reaching the PUD distribution lines, the excess electricity you produce will first pass through your electric meter.
  • The meter will record the flow of the electricity that your system produces, which offsets prior electric usage the meter has recorded and reduces your PUD bill.

Required Interconnection Standards

With the safety of its customers and employees in mind, Cowlitz PUD has joined with other electric utilities in the state to develop standards for interconnection to electric utility delivery systems for up to 100 kW. These standards have been developed by a state wide group of utility representatives in an effort to establish uniform standards.

Before your small generation system can be connected to our distribution system, the requirements of Cowlitz PUD’s Interconnection Standards Policy must be met.

Impact on Your Electric Bill

Under the Net Metering arrangement, the PUD will continue to read your meter and you will receive electric bills on your normal monthly billing schedule. If you use more energy than you generate in a given billing cycle, you would be a “net consumer,” and the net consumption would appear as a charge on your current bill.

For customers with more than one metered service within the PUD’s service territory, meter aggregation, according to state law, would be applied to the net energy use for all meters regardless of the rate class.

If you generate more electricity than you use in a given month, you will be billed the normal monthly basic charge, applicable from your Rate Schedule, and the excess kilowatt‐hours will be credited toward your next bill.

As set by state law, on April 30 of each year, any kilowatt‐hour generating credit accumulated over the previous 12 months will be zeroed out without additional compensation paid to the customer‐generator.

The last 3 pages of the Net Metering Fact Sheet (PDF) show separate bills (with some explanatory comments) for the summer, fall, and winter seasons for a ‘typical’ Net Metering customer with a Solar PV installation.

Net Metering customers are not eligible for the Budget Pay (annual bill divided into 12 equal monthly payments) or MyPowerPay (pre‐paid electricity) programs.

Customer Costs

Cowlitz PUD charges a $100 non‐refundable application fee. There may be additional costs for, but not limited to, transformers, meters, and utility testing. These costs will be estimated for you during the application review process.

State Financial Incentives Program

For the latest information about financial incentive programs, refer to the Renewable Energy System Incentive Program offered by the State of Washington.

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