As of January 1, 2022, residential and small commercial customers that interconnect solar PV at their site are subject to a new billing item—the Customer Benefit Contribution (CBC) charge. Below, we will explain what the CBC charge is, and how its value is calculated across different utilities and system sizes.
What is the Customer Benefit Contribution Charge?
The Customer Benefit Contribution (CBC) charge is a billing item applicable to customers who interconnect residential and small commercial solar PV systems from January 1, 2022. The CBC charge is calculated based on the size of the PV system and is not applicable to customers that interconnected solar PV systems before January 1, 2022. You can view a NYSERDA presentation on the CBC charge at this link.
Why has the Customer Benefit Contribution Charge Been Brought in?
The CBC charge will go towards funding Public Benefit Programs such as low income, energy efficiency, and non-supply related clean energy programs.
How is the Customer Benefit Contribution Charge Calculated?
The CBC charge is calculated based on DC system size in kilowatts, with a per kW-month rate calculated on an annual basis by the utility company. It is important to note that the level of the CBC charge is set such that a customer’s annual contribution towards the Public Benefit Programs will be identical regardless of whether or not they have solar. Solar customers will not be paying more than non-solar customers.
What Utilities Does the CBC Charge Impact?
The Customer Benefit Contribution charge is in effect for National Grid, NYSEG, RG&E, Central Hudson, O&R, ConEdison, and LIPA.
Which Projects Does the Customer Benefit Contribution Charge Apply to?
The CBC charge applies to on-site residential and small commercial projects that interconnect solar PV at their site on/after January 1, 2022. These projects will be subject to a reduced CBC charge if they opt into the Value Stack.
What Projects are Exempt From the CBC Charge?
The Customer Benefit Contribution Charge does not apply to:
Projects which received PTO before January 1, 2022.
Front-of-the-meter projects such as community solar.
Community solar off-takers.
On-site commercial projects that pay a demand charge on their electric bill.
What are the Rates of the Customer Benefit Contribution Charge?
The rates of the CBC charge vary depending on your utility company, the size of your solar PV system, and whether you use the Value Stack Tariff rate or net metering. The utility company sets a per-kilowatt CBC rate that you will be charged each month. This means that the amount you are charged depends on the size of your solar system. As the Value Stack Tariff rate design already leads to fewer costs shifted to non-solar customers, the CBC rate will be lower for Value Stack Tariff customers. Each month, customers will be charged that rate, times the size of their solar system. The table below shows NYSPC estimates for how much utilities may charge.
Residential CBC Charge with Net Metering
Residential CBC Charge with Value Stack Tariff
Customer Benefit Contribution Charge Example
Using the estimates from the table above, we can calculate a sample CBC charge. Let’s say you are based in Con Edison territory, you have a 7 kW residential solar system installed, and you have opted to use net metering. In this scenario, your monthly CBC charge would be equal to your system size (7 kW) multiplied by Con Edison’s rate for a residential system with net metering ($1.09/kW). Therefore, in this example, your CBC charge would come to $7.63 per month, or $91.56 per year. If the same customer was to use the Value Stack Tariff rate instead, we would multiply the system size (7 kW) by the Con Edison rate for a residential system with the Value Stack Tariff ($0.545/kW), resulting in a CBC charge of $3.82 per month, or $45.78 per year.
Do you want to go solar in New York? Reach out to YSG today. YSG has been a part of the New York solar industry for over a decade, working on everything from small residential projects to large solar farms. We will identify the ideal solar project for your energy needs and make it a reality. Call the office at 212.389.9215 or send us an email to learn how much you could save with NY solar.
YSG Solar is a project development company responsible for commoditizing energy infrastructure projects. We work with long-term owners and operators to provide clean energy assets with stable, predictable cash flows. YSG's market focus is distributed generation and utility-scale projects located within North America.