Rhode Island Renewable Energy Growth Program (REG)
The Rhode Island Renewable Energy Growth Program (REG) is a feed-in tariff program designed to promote new renewable energy projects in Rhode Island. This incentive is a great opportunity for Rhode Island residents and businesses to earn money from going solar or investing in other renewable sources.
What is a feed-in tariff?
A feed-in tariff is an incentive that pays customers a fixed rate per kilowatt hour for the renewable energy they provide to the grid. The overall goal of these types of projects is to encourage renewable energy development. Feed-in tariffs are performance based rather than investment based incentives. This means that they pay customers a fixed rate based on the energy their system produces. In comparison, something like the federal investment tax credit deducts a percentage of the initial cost of installing a solar panel system. However, performance based incentives are especially beneficial since solar panels are becoming more efficient and cost effective every year. While investment-based incentives are worth less every year when prices decline, performance-based incentives allow you to earn a consistent price every year, no matter what happens to solar cost or demand.
About the Program
The RE Growth Program is administered by National Grid for four types of renewable energy: wind, solar, hydro, and anaerobic digestion. The program lets customers earn a constant payback rate on energy that they produce. Additionally, it runs from April 1st to March 31st and is updated every year. There are also different incentives within the REG for smaller systems and commercial systems.
Small Scale REG Program
The REG is separated into a small-scale program and a commercial program. Residential and small-business solar projects under 25 kW can benefit from the first program. For example, under the small-scale program, National grid pays customers based on how much solar energy their panels produce. They pay customers first in the form of a bill credit, then as a cash payment. The amount of energy a customer produces determines the value of the bill credit. If there is any money leftover after the bill credit is applied, National Grid will pay the rest to the customer as a cash payment. So, to determine how much you will earn in cash payment, simply subtract your bill credit and remaining electric bill from your total incentive. To determine your total incentive, multiply the number of kilowatt hours your system produces by your incentive rate.
Click here to learn more about how the bill credit is calculated. See an mock electric bill from energysage.com here.
National grid pays customers an incentive rate of 23.45 cents to 29.65 cents per kilowatt hour. However, the exact rate depends on the system size and contract length. Contracts range from 15 to 20 years long. So, the total incentive that a customer can receive per month depends on how much solar energy they produce. However, their incentive rate stays the same throughout the whole contract.
Commercial REG Program
The commercial program is open to solar, wind, hydro, and anaerobic energy. The main difference between the commercial and small-scale programs is that the only systems larger 25kW can participate in the commercial program. In addition, it guarantees payments through 20 years. For more information about the commercial incentive, visit the links below.
For more information, check out these PDFs and websites about the REG program. As always, contact us with any questions!