Customer Benefit Charge: The one thing solar customers should know that no one is talking about
Quick Read - 5 Minute Read
All solar systems installed and 2022 and beyond in New York State will have to pay a “Customer Benefit Charge.”
These charges are on average about $10 a month, and are the solar version of the System Benefit Charge which utility customers already pay.
New York State has added very enticing grant funded by NY Sun to offset these charges.
This change brings greater fairness and creates a more sustainable model for state programs.
What is a Customer Benefit Charge?
Effective January 1st 2022, all solar systems installed in 2022 and beyond will have a “Customer Benefits Charge”(CBC)1 each month; as adopted by the Public Service Commission (PSC) of New York in July of 2020.
This charge will retain the same structure as Phase One Net Metering (NEM) which was and continues to be in place, but adds the CBC charge intended to cover costs of state funded programs.
These charges range from $0.92-$1.342 per kW per month, in layman’s terms that means the average solar system owner installed in 2022 and after can expect to pay $103 a month (which they were unknowingly already paying when they relied on their utility provider for all their power).
Why Are CBC's Being Implemented?
All utility customers in New York State pay into the programs that help people go solar such as NY Sun through System Benefit Charge (SBC).4 The Customer Benefit Charge (CBC) is in essence the solar version of the SBC, meaning solar customers now also pay into the programs that helped fund them to go solar.
New York State didn’t want these charges to dissuade people from going solar, and had NYSERDA add a very enticing block grant to offset CBC’s. (which is funded by SBC’s)
How Are CBC's Important?
Rate increases became unsustainable for non Net Energy Metering (NEM) customers in certain utilities in certain rate classes. These rate increases were being pushed by cost shifts of utility costs from NEM to non-NEM customers. Net Energy Metering as a policy does not offset the burden on the grid for peak usage hours.
This change brings greater fairness and creates a more sustainable model for the programs that help people go with sustainable energy. The big focus is making sure the transition from non-renewable to renewable sources is seamless and frictionless, and these changes will aid in that process.
In conclusion the incentives brought on to offset Customer Benefit Charges will do more than cover the expected $10 monthly charge solar customers can expect in 2022 and beyond. The onboarding of CBC’s is simply a small step in transitioning our world to being powered by renewable energy.