Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Suburban 5-4-and-a-Door Solar: The Impact of Net Metering

The Georgia PSC has passed a proposal that will force Georgia Power to use monthly netting rather than instantaneous netting. It is not entirely clear what that means yet - especially since rates can vary depending on the time of day and day of the week. However, there should definitely be savings for solar owners (like us) who have been buying electricity at a much higher rate than we have been selling it back to the utility.

Since I have a ton of data on our solar array, I decided to do a quick check with the following assumptions:

  1. All power exported back into the grid would be credited at the same rate that it would have been purchased. In other words, if power is exported during On Peak hours, that power will credit against power imported during On Peak hours.
  2. Assume we had been on the PEV plan from the start, just for simplicity. We haven't been (see lots of detail here), but it's easier for this quick calculation.
  3. Since this is a quick calculation, I did not include the mandatory fees, fuel charges, etc. This is just a comparison of the cost of electricity. The percentage savings will be slightly different, but should be in the same ballpark.
I went through all of our solar data from August, 2017 through November, 2019. 
  • The total cost of electricity on the PEV plan without net metering was $1786 with $173 returned from energy exported to the grid. This represents about a 40% savings by usingsolar.
  • The total cost of electricity on the PEC plan with net metering was $1368. This represents about a 49% savings by using solar.
So the bottom line is that net metering would save us about another 10% per month over the current plan. We'll take that any day and look forward to seeing the details of the plan in 2020.

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