The payments new solar owners get through the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Growth (REG) program change on April 1. (Need background on the “REG” program? Click here to read my article explaining the REG and the REF Grant.) Note that prices do not change if you are already enrolled in the program; you continue to get the prices in effect when you signed up.
The new prices vary by system size and whether you opt for 15 or 20 years of REG payments.
For systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW):
- If you opt for the 15-year timeframe, you receive $0.3475 for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar electricity your system produces. (Or, as a normal person would say, 34.75 cents or, even more likely, about 35 cents.) That’s down a little from the previous price of $0.3765.
- If you go with the 20-year option, you receive $0.3085 per kWh, down from $0.3345.
The payment is netted out against your electric bill so the income first pays down your electric bill and then you receive cash for the amount that exceeds your bill.
To put the value of this benefit in more relatable terms, consider this example. At the 15-year rate, a 7.8-kW system on an 80% roof comes out to about:
- $215 in monthly income
- $2,700 in the first year
- $38,500 over the 15 years.
These new, lower prices are not a surprise. The REG program was always designed to drop in value over time, like most state incentive programs. So naturally, the sooner you go solar, the more valuable the incentive is.
On the other hand, for larger systems of 11 – 25 kW, the price went up from $0.2490 per kWh to $0.2775 (probably because the number of large systems being installed dropped off compared to targets). Owners of those systems can only use the 20-year option.
Click here to see these numbers on the National Grid website. Once there, scroll down and click on the + sign next to “Small-Scale Solar Projects: blah blah blah” and then scroll down to the 2017 price chart.
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