CoServ launches new solar policy

More CoServ Members are adding solar to their rooftops, like this house in Aubrey. Photo by KEN OLTMANN
More CoServ Members are adding solar to their rooftops, like this house in Aubrey. Photo by KEN OLTMANN

ON FEBRUARY 1, CoServ debuted a new solar policy officially called Distributed Generation (DG) with Buyback that pays Members for ALL the power they send back to the grid.

Summary of the DG Policy Changes

BEFORE:  CoServ compensated Members with solar through net metering, which takes what is delivered to the home and subtracts it from the solar energy produced (or received by) CoServ. CoServ paid the full retail rate for all solar energy received during each billing period so long as it didn’t exceed the amount delivered. Any surplus received by CoServ beyond the net was not paid out, nor did it carry over to another billing cycle.

Delivered            –            Received           =            Net

1,000 kWh           –            300 kWh            =            700 kWh

In the example above, the Member purchased 1,000 kWh from the grid and the solar system produced an excess of 300 kWh that went back to the grid. The Member will be billed on 700 kWh, which is the net. However, if the solar system had produced more than 1,000 kWh, they wouldn’t have been compensated for the surplus.

NOW:  With the new DG policy, CoServ buys back all the solar energy received from the Member’s solar system at the avoided wholesale power cost, which is lower than the full retail rate. The buyback of electricity will be in the form of a bill credit applied to each bill.

Put another way, CoServ Members are paid for all the electricity sent back to the grid, even if the solar energy received exceeds what was delivered to the home. But the per kilowatt-hour compensation will be lower.

Delivered            x            Applicable Rate                    =            Delivered Cost

Received             x            Avoided Wholesale Cost     =            Received (Credit)

Then, take the two and subtract them.

Delivered Cost   –            Received (Credit)                =            Amount Billed

Brock Squier performing a meter check on a solar set up at a residence in Aubrey, Texas. Photo by BRIAN ELLEDGE

Also note, credit applied from the received electricity can be applied to the Customer Charge, the Securitized Charges Recovery Factor and any applicable taxes as well. While not common, this does allow for a customer to possibly receive a bill for zero dollars. If additional credits are still owed, they will be applied to the next month’s bill.

Did the Customer Charge change?

BEFORE:  CoServ Members with solar paid a $10 per month DG Charge to help pay their share for the infrastructure that delivers power to their home. This is in addition to the $10 Customer Charge that all Members pay, making the total Customer Charge $20 per month.

NOW:  Customers on the new Buyback DG plan will pay a total Customer Charge of $25 to reflect the higher cost of wires, equipment and other infrastructure.

Who can be grandfathered in?

CoServ Members who had their solar systems completed or submitted an application before Feb. 1, 2023 will be grandfathered in to the old DG policy for the next five years, until Feb. 1, 2028.

However, if a grandfathered Member wants to switch to the new policy, they can email CoServ at [email protected] to switch to the new policy. A Member who is on the new policy cannot switch back to the old policy.

Why did CoServ make this change?

Utilities across the country are trying to find the right balance between fairly compensating homeowners who sell solar energy back to the grid and not having those without solar shoulder more of the cost.

CoServ is no different. We’re hopeful that this new policy will meet the needs of our Members with solar while also being fair to those who don’t.

For the current DG buyback rate, please visit