What is Net Metering?

Are you thinking of using a renewable “green” energy technology to generate your electricity and reduce your monthly costs? Net Metering might be the ideal solution for you.

Many small and large electricity consumers are looking at Net Metering Solutions to help offset or reduce their hydro bills. However, what exactly is Net Metering? Moreover, what is the difference between Net Metering and MicroFit/FIT? Let us help explain. 

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on your building or property, work exceptionally well with the Net Metering Program Initiative available now for qualified homes and businesses. The installation of a Net Metering Solar System allows you to use the power generated from your solar system to offset your existing hydro bill and reduce your utility electricity costs well into the future.  

net-metering-explained

Eligibility criteria for Net Metering Program Initiative include, but are not limited to:

    1. You must generate electricity primarily for your own use; and
    2. The electricity must be generated solely from a renewable resource such as Solar PV.

So what is a MicroFIT or FIT system?

The MicroFit and FIT Program was a Government incentive program, initially promoting the use of renewable energy systems for businesses and homeowners.  This program is now closed as of 2017.  The power generated from your renewable solar system was sold at a fixed rate to your hydro company for a set period and was connected to the hydro grid with a separate meter to track energy production.

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More About Net Metering

With a Net Meter System, all power generated by your system will go directly to your property’s main electrical service panel to satisfy your power needs. Energy generated beyond your needs will be fed back into the hydro grid.

A new Bi-Directional Meter is installed into your existing meter base. This meter will record all energy consumed by your property from the grid. The excess energy produced from your solar system travels back past the bi-directional meter and into the grid, winding the recorded kWh off your meter. In the event your system produced more energy in a 12 month period than your property used, you would have a surplus meter reading.

DON’T JUST GIVE YOUR POWER AWAY – MAKE SURE YOUR NET METERING SYSTEM IS SIZED CORRECTLY

Some buildings or houses have enough usable roof space to install a renewable solar system large enough to wind off all the property’s electricity usage for the year. However, your Net Metering System must be sized correctly to balance your solar energy generation and your electricity consumption.

For example, An average house uses between 9000 and 10,000 kWh per year. A 10kW, 40-panel system produces an average of 12,000kWh per year, creating a surplus 2000kWh balance on your hydro bill. You can carry this excess balance on your hydro bill for one year to offset additional power needs, after a year your hydrometer will be re-set by your Local Distribution Company (LDC). Therefore it is important that your net metering system is sized correctly to avoid creating free power for your LDC.