Austin Energy, the municipal utility of Austin Texas, offers the Value of Solar rate for residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The Value of Solar tariff, designed by Austin Energy and approved by Austin City Council in June 2012, will be available for all past, present and future residential solar customers beginning October 1, 2012. This tariff replaces net billing for residential solar PV systems no larger than 20 kilowatts (kW).
Under this new tariff, residential customers will be credited monthly for their solar generation based on the Value of Solar energy generated from their distributed PV systems. The initial solar tariff is $0.128 per kilowatt hour (kWh) and was calculated by using algorithms and web-based calculations developed Austin Energy and Clean Power Research. Billable kWh under this rate schedule shall be based upon the customer's total energy consumption during the billing month, and non-kWh-based charges under this rate schedule will remain unaffected. The tariff will be administratively adjusted annually, beginning with each year's January billing month.
The Value of Solar rate is based upon several factors* including: loss savings, energy savings, generation capacity savings, fuel price hedge value, transmission and distribution capacity savings and environmental benefits. Taken together, these savings are intended to reflect the value of distributed solar energy to the utility—a “break-even” value for a specific kind of distributed generation resource, and a value at which the utility is economically neutral to whether it supplies such a unit of energy or obtains it from the customer.
All systems must meet the requirements of Austin Energy's [http://www.austinenergy.com/Energy%20Efficiency/Programs/Rebates/solar%2... interconnection guidelines] and the customer is responsible for all interconnection costs. Interconnection agreements have a minimum term of one year, unless the customer is a participant in the [http://www.dsireusa.org/library/includes/incentive2.cfm?Incentive_Code=T... Austin Energy Solar PV Rebate Program], in which case the minimum term is five years. Agreements will be renewed automatically each year unless terminated by either party (requires 60-day written notice).
''*Tariff calculations assume south-facing PV systems with 30-degree tilts.''