How Does Net Metering Work?
Net-metering is a special installation that allows any surplus energy generated by the member’s alternative energy system to go back into the utility electric system. This allows the member to receive “credit” for the electricity put back on the system at retail rates. The member’s meter measures the electric usage from the utility.
As the homeowner’s system produces electricity, kilowatts are first used for any electric appliances in the home. If more electricity is produced from the system than is needed by the homeowner, the extra kilowatts are fed into the utility grid. At the end of the month, the utility credits (banks) the net kilowatt-hours produced at the wholesale power rate. However, if the member uses more electricity than they generate, they pay the difference.
When is the Billing Period for Net Metering?
The annual billing period for net metering begins and ends with the Cooperative’s April billing cycle.
Any remaining unused kilowatt-hour credits accumulated during the previous 12 months will be granted to REC, without any compensation to the member-generator.
Net metering allows homeowners who are not home when their systems are producing electricity to still receive the full value of that electricity without having to install a battery storage system. The power grid acts as the member’s battery backup, which saves the member the added expense of purchasing and maintaining a battery system.
In brief, a net metering system is one that:
- Uses as its fuel renewable resources; defined to be solar, wind, hydropower, biomass or other alternative generation system pre-approved by the utility.
- Is located on the member-generator’s premises.
- Operates in parallel with the REC distribution system.
- Is intended primarily to offset part of the member’s/generator’s requirements for electricity at the specific site where the generation is installed.
Net metering allows homeowners to receive the full value for the electricity that their alternative renewable energy system produces. The term, net metering, refers to the method of accounting for the electricity production of an alternative renewable energy system.