Guide to Net Metering

PV

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a solar energy incentive program offered in many states through your electric utility company. Since solar only produces power during the daytime, this program allows you to receive credit for any excess energy (energy not being used) that is generated and exported to the utility grid.

Then when you are not producing enough solar energy to meet your demand, such as at night, the earned credit is applied to your billing account.

How a Net Metered Solar Energy System Works

  1. Solar panels convert the energy from the sun into Direct Current (DC) electricity.
  2. Solar inverters convert the (DC) to usable Alternating Current (AC) electricity.
  3. Your building will consume as much of the solar electricity as needed.
  4. Any excess solar electricity that is not consumed will flow through the utilities bi-directional flow meter, which will measure any excess solar electricity that is exported to the utility grid.
  5. When the sun is not shining, the utility will provide all of the electricity.

How to calculate energy savings from Net Metering

Since your solar energy system is generating electricity, your building will consume most of what is generated during your hours of operations, and thus the amount of electricity (kWh) you are purchasing from the utility will be lower.

If there is any excess solar electricity that your building cannot consume, it is exported to the utility and will appear on your utility billing statement as a credit or PV Sales. This credit is then applied to your account and you will owe the remaining balance or the net.

In order to identify your solar energy savings, you need to use the kWh generation reports provided from your solar energy monitoring system. You then calculate what your blended rate per kWh is from the utility bill and multiply that by the kWh’s your solar energy system generated in that same month’s billing period.

What is a blended rate?

Your blended rate is the total cost per kWh you are paying the utility. This includes all taxes, less any demand (kW) charges, customer flat fees and other charges that would not be changed due to lower kWh consumption, such as late payment penalties or utility loan payments.

Sample Calculation:

Month’s Utility Bill Blended kWh Cost: $723.97 / Month’s Utility Bill Usage kWh: 10,624 = $0.068

*If the Utility Bill Usage kWh is split between On-Peak and Off-Peak, use the sum of both.

Utility Blended kWh Rate: $0.068 x Month’s PV kWh Generation: 2,107 = $143.28 SAVINGS

To get the cost basis for the Blended kWh Rate calculation:

  1. Sum charges that will not change due to solar:
    1. Flat Fee: $15.82 + Flat Fee: $8.65 + kW Charge $231.35 = $255.82
  2. Subtract from Total Month’s cost:
    1. Total Current Charges: $979.79 - $255.82 = $723.97

Sample Bill

How to Export Energy from SolBid’s monitoring system

Egauge Sample Data
Egauge Sample Data

How To Analyze the Exported CSV Data

CSV Data

Note:

*Sometimes it can take a few months to get the SolBid monitoring suite up and operational due to the commissioning process.

*If you have trouble accessing your data or If the data is not available, please reach out to your SolBid representative.

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