05 Sep Net Metering in Open Markets
With Net Metering being recently reintroduced to Nevada, a lot of people are concerned that the possible open market could do away with the great rates solar panel owners are receiving.
Though there is some room for concern, many open energy markets have thriving government programs and solar installations. We thought we would show you a glimpse of these alternative examples and how an open market does not mean the end of net metering.
California has a thriving solar industry, so much so that newly built homes are required to install solar panels upon completion.
California also has a competitive net metering program. The setup and payment is different than Nevada’s current program however, which is technically a Net Billing System.
California’s is actually called Net Energy Metering, and instead of working with dollars and cents it works with the energy your system produces.
For every kilowatt-hr your system gives to the grid, you get a bill credit for one kilowatt-hr. Basically meaning you get a 1 for 1 for each amount you overproduce. So for example, in Nevada the utility pays customers a percentage of the retail rate for what you produce, in California instead of getting a percentage of money back, you get 100% of the energy you made to use at another time.
The other good thing about California’s program is that solar customers no longer have to pay for fixed charges like demand charges, grid access charges, installed capacity fees and standby fees. Nevadan’s still have to pay these according to our net billing program.
As another top solar producer in the United States, New Jersey has a competitive net metering program within it’s open market. New Jersey even gives it’s customers multiple options for energy compensation. Customers are also able to get net metering through some municipal utilities and cooperatives, something that we can’t currently do in Nevada. Even in states where it isn’t sunny most of the time like New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York the value of net metering has been proven to be beneficial, whether energy is regulated or deregulated.
Net Metering has been proven in over 41 states to be beneficial to overall energy production and growth, 15 of which are deregulated (out of 23 total deregulated states). Even if Nevada deregulates the energy market we strongly believe that net metering, in some form, will be protected. It may evolve into a true net metering system instead of net billing, but net metering is too good for Nevada to get rid of completely.