Sunrun enters Texas solar market with virtual net metering offer

Dive Brief:

  • Sunrun, one of the largest residential solar installers in the United States, announced yesterday it will begin operating in Texas through a partnership with Engie Resource's retail company Think Energy.
  • While Texas has no default net metering policies, customers will be able to sign up for a 20-year net metering agreement that will return energy credits for exported power through Sunrun's partnership with Think Energy.
  • The offering is similar to one rolled out last year by SolarCity, which partnered with MP2 Energy to offer retail rates for excess generation.

Dive Insight:

Texas has the second highest solar potential in the country, but the Lone Star State's lack of cohesive net metering policies have made rooftop solar panels a tough sell. But Sunrun's retail provider partnership will allow it to enact a form of "virtual net metering" with a two-decade guarantee, in hopes of bringing similar economics to conservation-minded customers.

"We’re able to provide Texas homeowners with the peace of mind and energy savings that come with net metering - without waiting for state legislation to change," the company said on its web site.

The deal allows customers to receive retail energy credit for every kilowatt of excess generation, and then access that credit when they consume energy from the grid before purchasing energy at a fixed rate. According to Sunrun, the virtual net metering agreement is the first to come with a 20-year term.

Sunrun is now operating in 19 states, the company said. The solar company will offer Texas homeowners the option to purchase their solar system, lease, or finance it through a third party loan.

The virtual net metering arrangement is similar to one SolarCity rolled out last year. The largest installer in the country partnered with MP2 Energy to offer retail rates for excess generation, with similar terms to programs in other states. MP2 operates as both an energy retailer and “qualified scheduling entity" that can trade in the state's wholesale energy markets.

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables
Top image credit: Sunrun