Net metering is the set of laws and standards that allow utility customers to generate their own power with wind, solar or other resources and send some of it back to the utility. The “Net Meter” is the device (usual replaces your old meter) that keeps track of the energy in both directions. Every utility has a slightly different approach to their “Net Meter”. Here’s what Pacific Power says about theirs:
There are several different types of meters used for the net metering programs across Pacific Power. The meters being used for all net meters conform to the following example, although there may be slight differences, such as the number of digits displayed.
Figure 1: LED bar display Energy reading
This is the register indicating how much energy has been consumed or generated. For net metering, there can be a combination of a total of six registers that would be read. The most common registers are 14 and 24.
Register 14 is the total energy the site consumes from Pacific Power. Register 24 is the total energy the site generates back to Pacific Power. Register 24 is not to be confused with the energy the site is actually generating, because most of that energy is being consumed by the site itself. The energy reading for register 24 will only increment if the site is producing more energy than it is using.
The other registers are 11, 12, 21 and 22. These are the time-of-use reading for sites operating under a time-of-use rate schedule. Register 11 is on-peak energy that the customer consumes. Register 12 is off-peak energy that the customer consumes. Register 21 is on-peak energy that the customer generates. Register 22 is off-peak energy that the customer generates.
This is the actual register read/quantity as defined by the register indicator.
LED bar display
This display will show how the power is currently flowing through the meter. If the boxes in the display are lighting up from left to right with an arrow pointing to the right of the meter, the site is consuming power. If the boxes light up from right to left with the arrow pointing to the left of the meter, the site is generating power back to the company. In figure 1 the customer is consuming power.
If you are a customer and have any questions about net metering, please call Pacific Power toll free at 1-888-221-7070 and ask for a net metering specialist. They are a great bunch and very helpful!