Jan, 2014

Solar net metering explained (video)

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Solar Power in Australia has changed a bit over the last few years and while many states have had a variety of feed in tariffs, what we have almost universally now is a net feed in tariff, which is being demonstrated in this video.


The essence of a net feed in tariff is the relationship between your usage, and your solar production. This is in contrast to a gross feed in tariff, where all your power is exported – with no interrelationship with your consumption at all – a gross feed in tariff is simply a direct export and the power is metered as it is exported, and  you are rewarded for that. (This is no longer available for new participants).

In this vdieo we can see the two lines being drawn on the graph throughout the day… solar production, and power consumption. There are spikes in consumption as various appliances are used, and there are changes in solar production throughout the day – both in a predictable manner, and also with changes as clouds reduce output temporarily.

With net metering, you are still connected to the grid, and you always have this reliable supply from the grid. You are not dependent on solar power for your needs. It merely diminishes the amount of power that you need to import, therefore reducing the amount you are buying, and saving you money.

The two systems work hand in hand to supply you with the clean 240v power you need. You don’t need to do anything, or switch anything, or change any of your equipment. An analogy is that it is like two rivers flowing into each other, and merging. At times, solar will be a bigger contributor. At other times it will dry up – at night for example. You are not impacted, as your grid connection is stable.

There are a few implications of net metering.

One is that only the power that is used, as it is being produced, is useful to you. So solar will suit those that have a regular load during sunshine hours.

Another implication is that you can’t eliminate your bill. You will still pay for power consumed over and above the solar production- if your usage exceeds your production, or when there is no solar production.

In some cases, you might be paid for excess solar production – that is, power produced but not used – but this is less common on a commercial system.

Another implication of net metering is that you don’t really want to have a system that means you export a lot of power each day – otherwise you are investing in a system, merely to export power for a small reward.

To learn more, or have a discussion about working out a system size to meet your needs, please visit our web site www.epho.com.au We can carry out a detailed analysis of your usage and demonstrate the financial benefit of solar in what we call the Solar Business Case.