Columbia Water & Light provides rebates based on the overall capacity of a PV system (kW) as well as its energy production (kWh) during “peak” times. Peak times are periods of high system demand when electricity is most expensive for Water & Light to provide to its customers and normally occur on hot summer afternoons and evenings. The utility provides a premium rebate for PV systems designed to perform best during peak periods using azimuth, tilt and shading as determining factors. Net Metering Agreements and Rebate applications must be submitted by a Water & Light approved PV Installation Contractor.
Chart # 1- PV Project Baseline Rebate based on rated kW of the system
Chart # 2- Unshaded production at Peak
For an estimate of unshaded production at Peak, choose the row/column corresponding to the tilt/azimuth of the array.
The color of the icon represents the Peak Factor found in Table #1. Orientations indicated with “X” receive no rebate.
1. Educate yourself: Study PV systems and evaluate your energy consumption history. This will give you an idea of what type will work best for your location, the size and cost of the system.
2. Choose your contractor. Contact several PV installation contractors. Columbia Water & Light maintains a list of PV contractors who meet our program requirements. It is important to ask the contractors for references, licenses and certifications.
3. Review the parameters of the rebate program. Review the steps outlined below in “Determining your Rebate” and the net metering information with your contractor.
4. Fill out and submit the Interconnection & Net Metering Agreement. This provides details about your PV system and site to Columbia Water & Light. The Agreement can be filled out electronically, however a signed hard copy must be emailed, faxed or mailed to Columbia Water & Light using the contact information on the form. Columbia Water & Light staff will review your proposal and notify you of any changes or additional information needed. A letter from Columbia Water & Light approving your PV project for interconnection will also notify you of the amount of reserved rebate funds. Fund reservations are valid for six months from the date of the project’s approval letter. Projects not completed within six months of approval must be resubmitted and will forfeit their place in the rebate process. If funds are unavailable at time of approval, your project will be placed on a waiting list based on the date of approval. The rebate fund is allocated during the City’s annual budget process and subject to City Council approval. Placement on the waiting list does not guarantee rebate funding.
5. Permits, installation and inspection: After approval from Columbia Water & Light, work with your contractor to obtain an electrical permit from Building and Site Development (BSD), a division of the Community Development Department. This allows your contractor to proceed with the installation of your PV system. After the PV installation is complete, contact BSD to schedule a final code inspection for your electrical permit. Upon receiving final electric code approval from BSD, the project is considered complete, the next step is to contact Columbia Water & Light at 573-874-7325 and schedule a rebate inspection. Revised 8-2017
6. Finalize your rebate: Your rebate will be finalized at the time of inspection by Columbia Water & Light staff. Please supply copies of all applicable invoices for the PV system, a copy of the final approved code inspection and a copy of the insurance certificate, if required. You have 30 days from the date of this inspection to provide any additional information. Once all information has been submitted your rebate will be processed and mailed to you. If you were notified your project was placed on a waiting list for rebate funds the rebate will be processed as funds become available.
The application includes a checklist of items you will need to receive a rebate.
Solar water heating is a simple, efficient, and affordable technology that can cut water heating costs by 50 – 80%. A family of four generally needs two 4’ X 8’ collector panels connected to an 80 gallon storage tank. The insulated tank holds the hot water until you need it. It requires little maintenance and helps create a sustainable environment with less dependency on energy created from fossil fuels.
There is an $800 rebate for a natural gas water heating customer to convert to a solar electric water heating system. All electric customers can receive a $400 rebate for the installation of a solar water heating system and are eligible for a low-interest Solar Energy Loan.
The value of the excess electricity generated by the solar energy system and delivered to Columbia Water & Light, will be credited to the customer’s account at their current applicable electric rate. This arrangement offers the customer more than what the Missouri Statutes for net metering require. An Interconnection & Net Metering Agreement must be approved by the utility for the customer to receive a credit for the excess energy they generate. The utility retains the renewable energy credits (RECs) for the project. Customers choosing to retain the RECs for their solar energy system will receive credit for the excess energy based on the avoided average energy market price at the Columbia pricing node.
Columbia Water & Light reserves the right to reject interconnection of PV systems not meeting the net metering or rebate program parameters.
Watch our video for an overview of how a photo-voltaic system installed in Columbia and how it is set up for net metering.
A net meter can measure electricity flowing to the utility from a customer’s renewable energy system on sunny days, when a customer is producing more energy than they are using. It can also reverse its direction to measure the amount of electricity used by the customer that is supplied by the utility. At the end of the month, the customer is billed for the difference or the ‘net’ amount of electricity used over the month’s time.
Columbia Water & Light electric customers that install a small scale renewable energy generator of 100 kilowatts or less that sign an interconnection agreement are eligible for net metering. The equipment must be certified by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Installation must follow the National Electric Code, Article 690. Please see the Net Metering Agreement for more details.
A Net Metering Agreement must be in place for the customer to receive a credit for the energy they deliver to Columbia Water & Light. For billing periods in which the net energy is less than zero, credits for the amount of net energy will be applied to the account. Credits can be carried over and applied to the next billing cycle except for the March billing in which any credits remaining after the March billing will be removed without compensation to the customer.
SOLAR: Columbia Water & Light will pay the customer’s current electric rate for the delivered solar generated electricity when the utility retains the Renewable Energy Credits (REC). If the customer wants to keep the solar RECs, the customer will receive a credit based on the avoided average energy market price at the Columbia pricing node. Click here for Solar Net Metering agreement and rebate application.
WIND and OTHER:For wind and other non-solar powered renewable energy generation, the customer shall receive a credit based on the avoided average energy market price at the Columbia pricing node.Click here for the Wind Net Metering agreement.
A renewable energy credit, certificate or attribute (REC) is a tradable certificate, credit or attribute that is certified by an entity approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission. Columbia Water & Light purchases these RECs from the customer when a Net Metering Agreement is signed by the customer. If a customer wants to maintain the solar RECs, the electric generating rate credit will be based on the avoided average energy market price at the Columbia pricing node instead of the customer’s electric rate.
Columbia Water & Light should be consulted before installing a renewable energy system that a customer wants to use for net metering. It is important to make sure that the system will meet the guidelines of the Net Metering and Interconnection Agreement. Columbia Water & Light can be contacted via e-mail email@example.com or by calling 573-874-7325.
For customer-generating units of ten kilowatts or less, the customer is not required to carry additional liability insurance. For customer-generating systems greater than ten kilowatts, the customer must carry no less than $100,000.00 of liability insurance that provides for coverage of all risk of liability for personal injuries (including death) and damage to property arising out of or caused by the operation of the net metering unit.
Electric line crews must know where all generating sites are located on the city’s electric distribution system to safely do their work. Each qualified net metering system will meet all applicable safety, performance, synchronization, interconnection and reliability standards established by the Missouri Public Service Commission, the National Electrical Safety Code, National Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Underwriters Laboratories for distributed generation. The customer’s electric generating system must contain a switch, circuit breaker, fuse or other easily accessible device or feature located in immediate proximity to the customer-generator’s metering equipment that would allow a utility worker the ability to manually and instantly disconnect the unit from the city’s electric distribution system.