How to generate your own electricity
If you're thinking of generating your own electricity, either for yourself or to sell to us, you're on the right page. We can help you through the entire process, so be sure to contact us early on in your planning.
Three ways for you to generate electricity
- If you're interested in generating electricity to meet a portion of your electricity load: Choose Net Metering. State laws and/or our approved tariffs permit systems up to 100 kW.
- If you're interested in generating more than 100 kW, and your generation qualifies: Choose PURPA. You may generate up to 80 megawatts and sell your power to Avista or another electric utility under Public Utility and Regulatory Policy Act of 1978.
- Wheeling to a 3rd party (utility-scale generation) In this instance, power is not purchased by Avista. The customer pays to wheel or transfer energy across Avista's system, and power is sold at a rate agreed upon in a negotiated Power Purchase Agreement with a qualified wholesale third party. This method is most commonly used for utility-scale installations of generation. (Interconnection is under FERC Jurisdiction)
Apply for Net Metering
To get started:
1) Read and sign our customer agreements.
2) Complete the application document and mail to the address at the bottom of the page. (There is a $100 fee)
Other steps you'll need to take to prepare
Choose a contractor. Be sure to ask:
- Have they worked with interconnecting to Avista before?
- How many projects like yours have they completed in the last year?
- Will they perform a site analysis specific to your location?
- Do they have a license in your city?
Submit a one-line diagram and design for your system, that includes:
- Generation types and locations
- Battery bank
- Charge controller
- Breaker panel(s)/sub panel(s)
- Production Meter(s)
- Disconnect Switch(es)
- Net meter
- Location of loads
Avista will confirm receipt of your completed application within 5 business days, and notify you of approval within 20 business days. If you're not approved, you will be contacted to discuss the required modification needed for approval.
30% federal tax credit for the year of purchase on qualified system installations.
Idaho State Incentives
40% residential Idaho state income tax deduction for the year of purchase and 20% state income tax deduction for years two, three, and four of purchased on qualified system installations. Deductions cannot exceed $5,000 in any one taxable year.
Washington State Incentives
Avista participates in Washington's State optional Renewable Energy System Cost Recovery Program, which allows homeowners with renewable on-site power systems certified by the Washington State University Energy Program to earn various per kilowatt-hour (kWh) incentive payments for metered generation.
The generation system must be grid connected and a production meter must be installed by Avista to measure the amount of energy generated.
Amount you'll earn:
- The incentive amount is based on the total energy generated annually.
- Payments are larger if the renewable energy equipment is manufactured in Washington State.
- Payment has a maximum payout of $5,000 annually for systems 12 kWdc or less, or $25,000 annually for systems greater than 12kWdc per household and is paid by the state and administered through Avista. Incentives are capped at 50% of the cost of the system.
- Incentive payments are issued annually for a program term of eight years, subject to caps and limits.
Attention Washington New Net Metering Applicants
The WSU Energy Program has announced a program end date of January 31, 2019 for the Renewable Generation Incentive. Please visit the WSU Energy Program for more details.
The solar estimator tool may include the Washington State Incentive, but the tool cannot guarantee the availability of funds.
How it works
- You provide one or more meter bases in order for Avista to install a production meter(s).
- The production meter records total energy generated by your system.
- Incentive is based on your generated energy from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.
- After Avista commissions the generation system, you must apply for certification with the Washington State University Energy Program in order to determine the incentive rate. This only needs to be done once.
- By August 31, you send us a renewable energy system cost recovery annual incentive payment application form.
- Avista distributes incentives.
- We'll send an annual reminder.
|Fiscal year of system certification
||Base rate of residential scale*
||Base rate of commercial scale
*Less than or equal to 12 kW
A fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Fiscal year 2018 ends June 30, 2018.
Need to know more? Contact Avista's Net Metering Expert. Learn more about the Washington State Renewable Energy System Incentive Program.
Should you apply?
If you're going to use a PURPA-qualified generator with capacities up to 80 MW, or cogeneration facilities of any size, you can sell power to us or transmit your generation across our system to a neighboring electricity utility.
Various state and federal regulations apply to all PURPA connections. Here's what you need to know to get started.
Interconnection Application Fees
|System Size (kW)||Washington||Idaho|
|>80,000||Not Eligible for PURPA|
|System Size (kW)||Washington||Idaho|
|0-500||0-500 Interconnection Application (PDF)||‹20MW Interconnection Application (PDF)|
|500-19,999||500-20MW Interconnection Application (PDF)|
|20,000-80,000||20-80MW Interconnection Application (PDF)|
For more information about connecting or selling your PURPA resource to Avista, contact Avista's PURPA Expert.