Texas does not have statewide net metering as the term is generally understood. However, retail electricity providers in Texas are permitted, but not required, to compensate customers for electricity produced by distributed renewable energy generation systems and exported to the electric grid. The program described below operates in a fashion similar to net metering and has similar customer benefits up to a certain point.
Eligibility and Availability
Green Mountain Energy Company, a retail electric provider of green electricity in Texas’s deregulated electricity market*, offers a special Renewable Rewards buy-back program to Texas customers who generate electricity from distributed solar or wind systems. The offer is only available to residential and business customers of Green Mountain Energy Company who purchase electricity under the company's Renewable Rewards product.
The arrangement requires the customer to enter into an interconnection agreement with their electric distribution utility (i.e., an entity different than Green Mountain Energy, which is a retail electric provider). The customer must also work with their distribution utility to install a meter capable of separately measuring the flow of electricity in both directions. Visit the program website to find utility interconnection contacts.
Net Excess Generation
Under the program, solar or wind systems are installed on the customer's side of the meter and may provide a portion of the customer's on-site electricity demand. Any net excess generation (NEG) produced by the customer’s system that is exported to the grid is metered separately, and the customer's account is credited the following month for the exported energy. The amount of the credit for residential customers is as follows:
the customer-generator is credited at the retail rate of the Renewable Rewards electricity product for all NEG
Customers can receive credits for excess generation up to their total electric usage; any credits past that limit are lost. For example, if a customer generates 250 kW of excess energy, and their total energy usage was 200 kW, they will receive credits for 200 kW.
The customer continues to pay the retail rate charged by Green Mountain under the Renewable Rewards program for all the electricity they consume from the grid during a month, as well as any applicable monthly service charges, advanced meter surcharges, taxes and fees, or other charges. Notably, customers retain title to any renewable energy credits (RECs) or other environmental attributes produced by the system. The maximum capacity for residential customers is 50 kW.
For business customers, Green Mountain Energy will credit their monthly invoice equal to the excess energy they generate multiplied by the contracted energy rate on their Green Mountain Energy electricity contract. The maximum capacity for a business customer’s grid-connected renewable energy system is 50 kW.
* Texas’s deregulated electricity market spans the vast majority of the state, including the cities of Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington. Austin and San Antonio, which have municipal utilities, and El Paso, which is serviced by a regulated investor-owned utility, are notable exceptions. For more information on Texas’s deregulated electricity market click here or to find a retail provider click here.