On this page you can find:
Net Metering 101 - An introduction to how your net meter works.
FAQs - A list of common questions about net metering.
Net Metering Service Requirements
Net Metering Applications
Net Metering Policy
Net Metering 101
Scenario 1: Your renewable energy system is online and producing enough energy to power all the loads in your home and send excess energy back through the meter onto SMPAâ€™s power lines.
Energy is flowing from your system to your home and onto SMPA's power lines.
Scenario 2: Your renewable energy system is offline. All energy being used to power the loads in your home is coming from SMPA.
Energy is flowing only from SMPA's power lines to your home.
Scenario 3: Your renewable energy system is online, but is not producing enough energy to power all the loads in your home. You are using all the energy your system is producing and some energy from SMPA.
Energy is flowing from your system to your home and from SMPA's power lines to your home.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What will my inverter measure and display?
Most, but not all, inverters will have an LCD screen or online monitoring package that shows the daily and lifetime kWh output of the renewable energy system. The readings will show AC kWh generated by your system. These kWhs will either be used up in real time by loads in the building or go through the meter onto the grid or both.
What will my SMPA meter measure and display?
Your meter will display three different registers: the reset screen, the kWhs consumed from the grid and the kWhs your system has put back onto the grid. The meter will rotate through these three items displaying each reading for approximately six seconds.
You will recognize the reset screen because the reading will appear as all 8s or 0s. You will recognize the screen that shows the kWhs consumed from the grid by the plus symbol on the display. Often times the meter will use the minus symbol to identify the screen that displays the kWhs your system has placed onto the grid.
Please check out our Reading Your Net Meter document for a visual example.
What will my SMPA bill look like?
Your bill will display the common line items that are on all SMPA bills, such as the access charge and the applicable fees and taxes from your county/city. The kWh line item will show the total amount of energy you pulled from the grid. There will also be an adjusted net metering credit line that shows the credit that was applied to your account against the kWh total.
In the message to the members sections you can find a total for the amount of energy your system put back onto the grid. The bill will not show the total amount of energy your system produced or the amount of energy from your system that was consumed in real time.
Please check out our Reading your Net Meter Bill document for a visual example.
How will I be credited for any excess energy my system produces?
Each month the kWh total that your system puts onto the grid will be credited against the kWh total that you used from the grid. If your system put more kWhs onto the grid than you used from the grid, the excess will be reserved and applied as credit in future months as needed.
Example: Last month the net metered system put 450 kWh onto the grid and you used 300 kWh from the grid. 300 of the 450 generated are used to credit against the 300 kWhs consumed. The remaining 150 kWh carry forward to future months.
This month the net metered system put 250 kWh onto the grid and you used 350 kWh from the grid. The 250 generated is credited against the 350 consumed leaving 100. You still have 150 kWh in credits, so 100 of these can be applied to the remaining 100 for this month leaving you with 50 to carry forward to future months.
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Net Metering Service Requirements:
In order to qualify for a net metering rate as a member-generator of SMPA, the following safety and performance requirements are mandatory for interconnection.
- Application and Compliance Form: The SMPA interconnection application and compliance form must be completed, returned to SMPA and approved by SMPA.
- Maximum Capacity: A customer-generator must have a rated capacity of 10 kW or less for residential installations or 25 kW or less for commercial installations to qualify for Net Metering.
- Safety and Performance Standards: SMPA requires that a generating system used by a customer-generator meet all applicable safety and performance standards established by the National Electric Code (NEC), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Underwriters Laboratory (UL), the National Electric Safety Code (NESC) and any other applicable regulations or standards.
- Photovoltaic and Inverters: When an inverter is used the customer-generator will use a "non-islanding" inverter that is listed with and in compliance with Underwriters Laboratory (UL) 1741 Standard. Photovoltaic systems must be installed in compliance with IEEE Standard 929-2000 and in compliance with the relevant NEC articles for Solar Photovoltaic Systems. An approved State inspection of the new service and/or PV system is required before SMPA will allow interconnection of the system.
- Liability Insurance: The customer-generator shall carry no less than three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) of liability insurance for systems of 10kW or smaller; or $2,000,000 for systems between 11 - 25 kW, in accordance with Colorado Public Utility rules, that provides for coverage of all risk liability for personal injuries (including death) and damage to property arising out of or caused by the customer-generators system. Insurance may be in the form of an existing insurance policy or an endorsement on an existing insurance policy
- Interconnection Costs: The Consumer shall reimburse the Association for costs resulting from interconnecting with the customer-generator. The interconnection cost shall include all costs of connection, switching, metering, transmission, distribution, safety provisions and administrative costs incurred by the Association directly related to the installation and maintenance of the physical facilities necessary to permit interconnected operations with the customer generator.
- Interconnection is permitted only after all of the requirements of the Association are met, and only after written approval of the Application and Compliance form by the Association. This authorization cannot be issued until all interconnection costs are paid, and does not relieve the Consumer from the responsibility of installing, operating and maintaining the facilities in a responsible and safe manner. If in the opinion of the Association, the Consumer fails to meet the requirements of the Association including subsequent operation of the generating facilities in a non-qualifying manner, the Association will no longer be obligated to operate in parallel and purchase any capacity and energy made available and may notify the Consumer to disconnect the generating facilities from the Association's system. In the event the Consumer fails to immediately comply with a disconnect notice, the Association reserves the right to make such disconnection including the termination of electric service if necessary.
- Association Access: Employees and authorized representatives of the Association have the right to enter the Consumer's property at any reasonable time to insure continued compliance with the Association's safety and operating standards and the accuracy of its meters. Such inspection by the Association shall not relieve the Consumer from the responsibility of installing, operating and maintaining the facilities in a responsible and safe manner.
- Disconnect Requirements: In order to provide adequate safety to the Association's employees when performing certain operation and maintenance on the Association's system, the following two requirements will be met:
- The customer generator shall be designed and operated to automatically disconnect or shut down during scheduled or unscheduled outages to insure that it will not back feed on to any part of the Association's distribution system.
- That a means be available to positively disconnect the customer generator from the system such that there is no possibility that the generator could back feed through the service transformer and energize the primary system. This requirement shall be met with a Consumer furnished and installed Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) listed manual disconnect switch which shall be located between the Consumer's customer-generator and the Association's system. The location of the switch shall meet all code requirements and be approved by the Association and shall be housed in an approved enclosure which can be secured with a padlock or locking device.
- Emergency Isolation of Qualifying Facility: The Association reserves the right to open the disconnect switch (i.e., isolating the customer-generator) without prior notice for any of the following reasons:
- System emergency and/or maintenance operations require such action.
- A potentially hazardous condition relating to the customer-generator is discovered.
- Normal Isolation of Qualifying Facility: Upon 24 hours notice by the Association, the customer agrees to disconnect the Facility from the Association's system for maintenance, or normal operations.
- Single-Phase Limitations: The rated capacity of the customer-generator to be connected in parallel with a low voltage service shall be no greater than 10 kW for single-phase installations unless, in the sole determination of the Association, a larger single-phase installation is acceptable.
- Quality of Service: Operation of the customer-generator must not cause any reduction in the quality of service to other consumers nor interfere with the operation of the Association's system. The Consumer shall be responsible for taking whatever corrective action may be required and/or reimbursing the Association for the cost of corrective action which it deems necessary to restore service to prescribed limits.
- Electrical Characteristics: The electrical characteristics of the customer-generator shall conform with standards established by the Association. The standards include voltage, current, frequency, harmonics, and automatic synchronization, etc. Wherever possible the Association will base its standards on industry wide standards.
- Power Factor: The Consumer shall endeavor to operate the customer-generator as near unity power factor as possible. For customer-generators with rated capacity above 10 kW, the Association reserves the right to require the Consumer to install power factor correction equipment or reimburse the Association for its cost of installing power factor correction equipment.
- Metering: The Association will meter the customer-generator to obtain billing data as well as the energy purchased by the Consumer and sold by the Consumer to the Association. The metering installation will be determined by the Association as appropriate for the Net Metering Rate Schedule and the associated Electric Service Rate Schedule. Those costs associated with metering of the customer-generator may be required to be paid by the Consumer.
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Download Net Metering Application - no SMPA rebate
Download Net Metering Application - SMPA rebate
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Net Metering Policy:
APPLICABILITY: Applicable to all eligible Customer-Generators whose electric service is supplied by the Association and whose Net Metering and Compliance Form is approved by the Association.
AVAILABILITY: Net Metering is available to San Miguel Power customers located within the Association's service territory who own, operate, lease or otherwise control an Eligible Renewable Energy Generation System.
DEFINITIONS: Customer-Generator: A customer of the Association who generates electricity on the customer's side of the meter using eligible energy sources.
Eligible Generation System: An electric generating system which:
- has a total aggregate nameplate generating capacity, from a single or multiple generators, of 10 kilowatts (kW) or less for residential installations; or has a total aggregate nameplate generating capacity, from single or multiple generators, of 25 kW or less for commercial installations; and
- uses as its energy source solar, wind, biomass, hydropower, geothermal or other qualifying renewable resources; and
- is intended primarily to only offset part or all of the Customer-Generator's electric energy requirements at the same location; and
- is located on the premises that are owned or leased by the Customer-Generator; and
- operates in parallel with the Associations electric distribution system; and
- shall not be used to offset or provide credits for electric consumption at another location of the Customer-Generator or for any other customer; and
- meets all safety and performance requirements of the Association and applicable regulations and standards.
Net Generation: The measured difference, in kilowatt hours (kWh) between the electricity supplied to a Customer-Generator by the Association and the electricity generated by the Customer-Generator and delivered to the Association at the same point of interconnection that is in excess of the electricity used at the same location.
Net Purchaser: The measured difference, in kilowatt hours (kWh) between the electricity supplied to a Customer-Generator by the Association and the electricity generated by the Customer-Generator and delivered by the Association at the same point of interconnection that is in excess of the electricity produced by the Customer-Generator's system.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Billing: The billing period to be used under this schedule shall be the customary billing period for ordinary residential or other service rate schedules. Meters will be read on the same schedule as other meters falling in the same meter reading cycle.
Metering Equipment: Net metering under this schedule shall be accomplished using a single meter capable of registering the flow of electricity in each direction. If the Association's electrical meter at the Customer-Generator's site is not capable of measuring the flow of electricity in both directions, the Customer-Generator may be responsible for the expense of purchasing and installing an appropriate meter. If that should occur, the meter will remain the property of the Association.
Safety: The design and installation of the Customer-Generator's system shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations and shall meet all current and future safety and performance standards established by the Association, the National Electric Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Underwriters Laboratories, Incorporated and shall be approved by the Association.
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