March 17, 2024

Understanding Arkansas's Incoming Net Metering Regulations: Why You Should Get A Solar Installation Before September 2024

Net Metering

Why should Arkansas's home and business owners get a Solar Installation before the end September 2024?

Solar power in Arkansas is about to change big time because of new laws. Right now, if you make more electricity than you use with your solar panels, you can sell it back at the same price you buy electricity.

But after September 30, 2024, this deal gets less sweet. Act 278 says that before this date, homes and businesses can still get the good old 1:1 rate until 2040. This means your extra solar power is worth just as much for a long time.

But wait—there's more! The law also talks about things like how big your solar setup can be and lets one solar system help pay multiple bills.

Big utility companies are pushing for changes too. They want to pay less for the electricity folks make on their rooftops once these new rules kick in.

So why think about getting solar now? That's what we're here to chat about! Read on—you might find something helpful.

But first, here is a video with a quick summary of why you should get your solar system now!

Table of Contents:

Key Takeaways: 

Act 278 changes net metering in Arkansas. Starting September 30, 2024, new solar panel owners won't get the same credit for extra electricity they give back to the grid.

✦ If you install solar panels before September 30th, 2024, you can lock in good payment rates until September 2040. This saves a lot of money.

✦ New rules mean homes can only have solar systems up to 25kW and businesses up to 300kW. Also, swapping electricity one-for-one with the grid will end after this date.

✦ Waiting too long for solar installation could mean higher costs and missing out on savings. Installations done after September 2024 won't have the same benefits due to new rules.

Overview of Arkansas' Current Net Metering Regulations in Arkansas

Shifting gears from our introduction, let's steer toward the current state of Arkansas' net metering regulations. Right now, Arkansans are in a bit of a sweet spot with net metering—a policy that really puts the sun to work for folks with solar panels.

As it stands, if you've got a solar array perched on your roof or sprawling across your business lot, you're partaking in a give-and-take with the electric grid that's pretty favorable.

Essentially, when your panels are basking in sunlight and producing more electricity than you can use (think sunny summer days), that excess power gets fed back into the grid.

Here’s where it gets interesting: For every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity you send to the grid, you get a credit for one kWh off your bill—it’s like rollover minutes for solar energy! Thanks to Act 278 passed by the 94th General Assembly in Arkansas in 2023—endorsed by agencies including Entergy Arkansas and overseen by those meticulous folks at the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC)—this system ensures fair play between utility companies and private solar producers under what’s dubbed as “net metering.” It's this scenario which has prompted many homeowners and businesses alike to look up at their rooftops not just as structures but as potential goldmines for clean energy generation.

Overview of Arkansas's Current Net Metering

Right now, in Arkansas, if you have solar panels and make more electricity than you use, the extra goes to the grid. And guess what? The power company pays you for it. That's net metering for ya!

Current regulations and compensation

Right now, in Arkansas, if you have solar panels on your house or business, you can share the extra energy you make with the electric grid. Think of it as giving a cup of sugar to your neighbor, but instead of sugar, it's electricity, and instead of your neighbor, it's everyone using electricity.

For every bit of energy you give away, the electric company says "thank you" by reducing your bill. It's like a sweet deal where both sides win—you get lower bills and everyone gets more clean energy.

This setup is called net metering. The rule says that for all the energy your solar panels send to the grid, utilities pay back at the same rate they would charge for using their electricity.

Pretty fair, right? Plus—big news—the Arkansas Public Service Commission just kept this 1:1 payment rate going! That means sticking with solar could keep being beneficial for homes and businesses alike.

Now let’s peek into what changes are coming our way soon.

Recent Developments in Arkansas's Net Metering Laws

Arkansas just rolled out some big changes to its net metering laws - you'll want to catch up on this!

Outlined changes in legislation

So, Arkansas just made some big changes to its net metering rules. Act 278, passed in 2023, shook things up for folks interested in solar power. Here's the lowdown on what's new:

  1. Say goodbye to banking electricity - The old way let you store energy you made but didn't use right away. Now, that's not an option. You use what you make, or it goes back to the grid without saving for later.
  2. There are size limits now - For homes, your solar setup can't be more than 25 kilowatts (kW). Businesses have a bit more room with a cap at 300 kW. This means big houses or businesses might need to rethink their plans.
  3. Pooling power gets easier - Before, if you had many meters (think a farm or a big property), it was tough to share your solar power among them unless they were physically connected. Now, one system can feed multiple meters without needing wires everywhere.
  4. Third-party financing is okay - Buying solar panels outright can be pricey. The new law says it's cool for someone else to own the panels on your roof while you pay them over time for the electricity. Makes going solar easier on the wallet.
  5. Less cash for your extra juice - Through 2022, if your panels pumped out more electricity than you needed, you got paid 10 cents per kilowatt-hour for the extra. That deal's changing, so check out what your utility company offers now.

Alright, that's what's up with Arkansas and solar power these days. If sun-powered energy is your thing—or you think it might be—keep these updates in mind!

Implications of the New Net Metering Compensation Bill

The new net metering bill changes the game for anyone with solar panels in Arkansas. This means less money for the electricity you share and higher costs if you wait too long.

Impact on solar industry and utility customer agreements

The new net metering rules in Arkansas are set to shake things up for both the solar industry and folks who use electricity. Big utility companies, you know the ones like Entergy Arkansas and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, are pushing hard.

They're looking to pay less for the power they buy from people with solar panels. Instead of shelling out retail rates, they want to switch to wholesale rates. This move could make a big dent in how much money solar users can save.

For businesses and homeowners thinking about going solar, these changes spell a bit of urgency. Getting those panels up before September 30th, 2024 means locking in better deals with your utility company.

With current agreements taking a turn, it's smart to act fast if saving on energy costs is on your radar.

Now let's talk about why installing solar sooner rather than later is a smart move..

Impact on homeowners' future solar installations

Homeowners thinking of adding solar panels should hurry. If you wait until after September 30, 2024, things will change big time. Right now, if you install solar panels, you get a sweet deal called net metering.

This means whatever extra energy your solar panels make, the electric company pays you for it at the same rate they charge. It’s like selling apples back to the store at the same price you bought them! But here’s the kicker: after that date in 2024, new rules kick in.

You won’t get paid as much for your extra electricity anymore. So if you’re sitting on the fence about getting those shiny panels up on your roof – it's time to jump off and make a move.

With these new rules incoming, anyone installing solar after late 2024 won't have it as good. They're changing how they pay for the electricity that flows from rooftops into the grid.

And guess what? It's not in favor of us folks wanting to join the green energy movement later on. Plus, let's not forget about "grandfathering." That's a little ray of sunshine—get your system up and running before The Big Date and lock-in those friendly rates until September 2040! Now that’s some long-term savings waiting just around the corner for quick movers.

Why Install Solar Before September 30th, 2024?

Getting your solar setup before September 30th, 2024, means hanging onto more cash in your pocket while supporting green energy. So, why wait? Jump on board and feel the sunshine benefits sooner rather than later!

Benefits of Existing Agreement

Solar panels in Arkansas? Yes, please! If you're a house or business owner, there's a golden opportunity waiting for you with solar installations. And doing it before September 2024...well, that's the cherry on top. Here's why:

  1. Lock in the 1: 1 rate - Right now, for every bit of electricity your solar panels put back into the grid, you get the same amount back in credits. It's like swapping an apple for an apple—fair and square. After September 2024? Not so much.
  2. Grandfathering perks until 2040 - Imagine locking in today’s gas prices for your car all the way to 2040. Sounds amazing, right? That’s what you’re doing with your solar energy rates by getting in before the change.
  3. Boost home value - Homes with solar panels? They tend to sell faster and at higher prices. Buyers love saving on bills just as much as you do.
  4. Save big on energy - Solar power slashes your electric bill. The sun isn't sending you a bill, so enjoy the savings month after month.
  5. Be eco-friendly - Solar is clean energy. You’ll be cutting down on carbon emissions and making Mother Earth proud.
  6. Beat rising costs - Electric rates have a habit of going up, not down. Solar panels give you a way to opt out of those pesky increases.
  7. Independence from the grid - Power outages? A thing of the past when you have enough solar power stored up.
  8. Tax incentives - Don’t forget those sweet tax breaks and incentives available right now for going solar.

So there it is—solar installation before September 2024 is almost like hitting a mini-jackpot for house and business owners in Arkansas.

Potential Disadvantage of Delaying installation

After the new rules start, owners who install solar might face higher costs. This happens because the new net energy billing won't let you save extra electricity made on sunny days to use later.

So, if your solar panels make more power than you need right now, it's not as valuable anymore. You get less credit for the extra electricity sent back to the grid. For businesses and house owners, this means planning how much power you really need becomes super important.

Lots of folks might end up paying more for their electric bills than before – especially during months when sunlight is scarce and their panels aren't making as much juice. It's like having a big water tank but only being able to keep what you can drink right away; anything extra just overflows, wasted.

So why wait? Getting those panels up before September 30th, 2024 looks like a smart move right about now!

That's about all I have to say on the matter.

If you're thinking about solar panels in Arkansas? Time is ticking. The upcoming net metering changes are big news for anyone considering solar power. Current rules let you swap electricity one-for-one with the grid.

This deal ends soon! The new rules change how much credit you get and could cost you more down the road, so locks in these great benefits before September 30th, 2024.

Getting solar before these new rules kick in is wise. It’s clear—you can save money and support clean energy by acting now!

Is solar a good fit for your home?

Find out now!

If you are considering going solar, the first step is to get a solar savings report to determine if solar is right for you and your home. Click the button below to get your solar savings report now!

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Nick Gorden

Nick Gorden is the Co-founder and CEO of Shine Solar. Nick’s energy, enthusiasm, and leadership is contagious and has contributed to attracting a talented and successful executive team. His time is focused on strategic growth, maintaining profitability and creating the optimal customer experience. Nick has started, managed and sold companies within the communications, mortgage lending, insurance and real estate industries resulting in tens of millions of dollars of market value to investors.

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