It's the goal of BCSEA Business Member IPS to help you understand the basics of solar power systems, so you may make informed and educated choices.
With 24 years of experience designing and installing solar power systems, we get a lot of the same questions over and over again, but one of the most common and important questions is about net metering.
“If you have a solar powered system, how does the billing work?" Or in other words how do BC Hydro and FortisBC calculate net metering?
Both BC Hydro and FortisBC calculate net metering based on 2 time frames: Billing periods and annual reconciliation.
1. Billing Periods
During a billing period, if your system produces more energy than you use, then a kW credit will carry through to the next billing period.
Your solar power system produces 2600kW and you consume only 1600kW in a billing period. You will not be charged for any power usage.
A credit of 1000kW will carry forward to the next billing period.
During the next billing period, if the weather turns ugly and you produce only 500kW, but use 2500kW, the previous credit of 1000kW would be subtracted and you would only be billed for 1000kW of power consumption.
2. Annual Reconciliation
Once a year, on the anniversary date of your Grid-Tie system start-up, the utility company will add up how many kW’s your system produced and subtract your energy usage.
If you have a credit and depending on the utility company, you may be issued a check.
Now of course this leads to the next question that most people ask us:
Question: "What are the differences between how BC Hydro and Fortis, and do they pay back customers equally for power credits?"
We will tackle that very question and take an in-depth look into the differences between BC Hydro and Fortis in the next edition of: Solar Power Questions - Learn from IPS.
We look forward to your questions!
For more information, get in touch with IPS!
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