San Miguel Power Association - Net Metering

May 10, 2006


San Miguel Power Association (SMPA), an electric cooperative utility, offers net metering* to residential and commercial customers who generate electricity using solar photovoltaics. Systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity are eligible. Net metering is accomplished by using a single, bi-direction meter that measures kilowatt-hour usage and production. Net metering is available on a first-come, first-served basis until enrollment in SMPA's service territory reaches 50 customers. To be eligible, customers' generation systems must have been installed by December 31, 2001. Customers with net excess generation (NEG) at the end of a monthly billing period will receive a credit on their next bill, equal to SMPA's avoided cost. At the beginning of each calendar year, SMPA will pay customers for any remaining unused credit balance accumulated during the previous year. * SMPA offers "true" net metering to its customers. In 2002, Colorado enacted legislation (C.R.S. 40-9.5-304 et seq.) requiring the state's electric cooperatives to offer "net metering" to customers. However, the term "net metering" is a misnomer in this particular law. Under the law, customers receive a lower rate (the utility's avoided-cost) for all electricity generated, while customers must pay the full retail rate for all electricity they purchase from utilities. This practice, commonly known as "dual metering," is much less favorable to customer-generators than "true" net metering.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Utility
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Colorado
Incentive Type: Net Metering
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Photovoltaics
Applicable Utilities: 10 kW
System Capacity Limit: 50 customers
Aggregate Capacity Limit: Customers annually compensated at avoided cost
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: Yes

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.