Friday, August 26, 2011

Smart Meters and the Power Company

In a comment on the last post, Neki asked, "if the meter runs backwards does it mean they owe you money?"

Sort of. Once they fix the bug in their billing software so that it pays attention to minus signs, we'll get credited for all the power we put into the grid (negative numbers on the meter), and debited for all the power we pull out of the grid (positive numbers on the meter).

We expect that during the summer (when it's almost always sunny here) we'll generate more power than we use, and during the winter (our cool, rainy season, plus the sun is lower in the sky) we may use more than we generate.

I think they must have some scheme to average the billing over the year to account for the seasonal nature of the solar panel system. DH expects that the overall effect will be a dramatic decrease in the annual power bill, and that the system will pay for itself within 3-5 years, but we will have to experience a year's worth of use to be sure. And we'll have to hope that the next few winters aren't as constantly rainy as the last 2 have been!

1 comment:

Belinda Rose said...

We put these in in sunny NE Scotland and yes, we generate! We won't reach payback as soon as you tho. We also installed solar thermal and have had 'funded' hot water, not turning the boiler on more than a dozen times in the 5 months since.