What is Net metering?
All that extra solar energy generated in the middle of the day is going to be useless unless you’ve got some way of storing it.
In order to make residential solar viable, many states have enacted regulations known as net metering. Net metering means that your utility company has to buy back that surplus power your solar system produces.
Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio have full retail net metering, which is the strongest type. It requires utilities to pay for electricity at the very same rate they charge. In effect, this means your local power company will function as your own personal storage battery. The surplus power your solar panels generates in the middle of the day gets sent back into the grid, giving you credits that pay for the energy you need to draw from it at other times. Net-metering credits roll over on a state specified time period, after which you get paid a lump sum for any that are unused. During this true-up period the utility may actually send you a check. So, you can even turn a profit selling solar energy if your system produces more than you need annually.
What is interconnection?
Of course, utility companies can’t just let anyone send power into the grid willy-nilly. They’ve got
to make sure your system is installed properly and, more generally, identify any potential
problems that connecting it to the grid might cause.
The process of examining your project to make sure a grid connection is safe is called
interconnection. In the final step, you submit an application known as an interconnection
agreement for approval.
Is the interconnection process difficult?
Connecting to the grid is a serious matter and the process of making sure it can be safely done
is fairly involved. But, fortunately, we’ll be doing the work for you and all you’ll have to do is
provide some signatures.
What is the interconnection process?
The precise steps involved vary from state to state, but the details are usually pretty similar.
Before construction even starts, at least two documents have to be submitted.
A full site plan, including the technical specifications for all components.
A complete electrical diagram of the proposed solar system.
Once the proposal is approved, installation can begin. Upon completion, an authorized inspector has to be brought in to obtain a Certificate of Electrical Approval, which is then submitted along with your signed interconnection agreement.
Once the final application is approved, your utility company will connect your solar system to the
grid and install a net meter installed that keeps track of how much energy you’re selling as well
as how much you’re buying.
Is there an interconnection fee?
Most residential solar systems are 10 kW or less and subject to a flat $100 interconnection fee.
For systems larger than 10 kW, the fee is $250 plus an additional $1.00 per kW.
That’s pretty much all you need to know about getting your solar system connected to the grid.
With regard to the tedious parts, we’ll be doing all the heavy lifting. So, all you’ll need to do is
sign your name.