Water and Light
Your trusted source of water and electricity for over 100 years.
Going out for a cup of coffee can cost you at least $3.
Why not invest in solar energy instead?
For only $3.35 a month you can develop a local, renewable energy resource
You will need to enter your account numbers to sign up for Solar One so have your City of Columbia utility bill handy or call 573-874-7380.
Solar energy is a wonderful renewable energy resource but more costly than other renewable options in our region. The cost of solar panels makes it cost prohibitive for the utility to invest in systems for Columbia's electric portfolio. The cost can also make it difficult for our customers to invest in solar systems. Columbia Water & Light started Solar One in 2008 to develop locally owned solar projects. The monthly Solar One fees pay for the extra cost of developing these solar projects in Columbia.
Solar One cost $3.35 a month for a 100 kilowatt hour block of energy. Columbia Water & Light electric customers can purchase up to nine blocks of Solar One power. When you sign up for the program, the Solar One charges will be added to you monthly utility bill. You will still pay the normal rate for the electricity you use. Click here to sign up for Solar One.
Solar One energy is generated through solar systems located on city-owned property or at Columbia businesses. By working with local businesses, Columbia Water & Light can provide more solar energy at a lower cost. Columbia’s commercial buildings have large roof tops with good solar exposure. Businesses can also take advantage of incentives for installing solar panels that are not available to the utility. Columbia Water & Light purchases the solar energy from businesses through a power purchase agreement. Solar energy is being generated at Quaker Oats, Bright City Lights and from solar systems located behind the West Ash Pumping Station on Bernadette Drive.
The Solar One projects can generate up to 36.8 kilowatts which amounts to around 40,000 kilowatt hours. To get an idea of how much energy our Solar One projects are generating, a residential customer uses an average of 788 kilowatt hours of electricity in one month.
Columbia Water & Light offers rebates for residential customers installing solar energy systems along with net metering. Residential net metering allows customers to sell energy they do not use back to the utility at the residential electric rate. Rebates and loans are also available to customers installing solar water heaters.
Columbia has a renewable energy standard that requires increasing amounts of renewable energy. The requirement started at 2% of the electric supply in 2008 and it grows to 15% in 2023. Columbia Water & Light had almost 8% of the electric supply from renewable energy in 2012. The renewable energy ordinance has a cost cap. The cost of the renewable energy over traditional energy sources can not raise electric rates more than 3%. Download the Renewable Energy Report draft in a .pdf file.