The province is putting more power in peoples hands by expanding and extending the Net Metering Program.
The program allows customers, residential or commercial, to generate their own power to help decrease their monthly bills and get a credit for any extra power they generate. It was set to expire at the end of the month.
SaskPower announced on Tuesday that it’s extending the program to 2021 or until it adds 16 megawatts (MW) of power for a total of 30 MW, whichever comes first.
The minister in charge of SaskPower, Dustin Duncan said there are currently 1,400 customers on board, generating about 14 MW.
“There has been pretty good demand over the last number of years, especially as solar prices have continued to come down in terms of the capital costs,” said Duncan.
Under the expansion, the Net Metering Program will keep the 20 per cent rebate for equipment and installation costs but make some changes to credits and contracts.
Customers will now be able to bank credits for up to three years instead of one year. Previously, customers could only sign two-year contracts that could then be renewed. Those contracts now increasing to 10 years, with an option to renew for another decade.
The province also announced a similar program in October which is geared more toward industrial customers generating a larger amount of power than the 100 kilowatt cap per customer in the Net Metering Program.
Duncan said these two programs, along with recent announcements of a geothermal power plant near Estevan and a wind farm near Assiniboia will help reach the province’s long-term goals for sustainable power. That includes a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 and increasing renewable electricity generation up to 50 per cent by 2030.