Net Metering Basics
Net metering is a process through which residential and commercial electric customers can receive a credit back from their utility for electricity that the customers generate. Traditionally, this credit has taken the form of an offset to the amount of electricity consumed that month.
Net metering allows customers to install their own generation – typically solar panels – at their homes or businesses to produce electricity. During hours when the customer is generating more than is being consumed, the excess electricity is sent back to the electric grid. Customers are then credited for this excess electricity. When the net metering system is generating less electricity than the customer is using, or not generating at all (typically at night), the customer draws electricity from the grid.
Net Metering in Vermont
Vermont’s initial net metering legislation was passed in 1997. Since that time, the program has undergone significant changes. Currently, any residential or commercial electric customer in Vermont may elect to net meter. Net Metering generators can be up to 500 kW in size. A Certificate of Public Good (CPG) from Vermont’s Public Utility Commission is required prior to the installation of a net metering system.
Under Vermont’s group net metering program, also called virtual net metering, one or more customers can install a net metering project at a location other than their home or business and still receive credit for their generation.
Net Metering Credits
Compensation for net metering generation depends on both the size and location of the net metering system, as well as the project’s application date. Net Metering credits will show up on the customer’s monthly electric bill and be used to reduce the amount due to the utility. However, certain charges on the electric bill are considered “non-bypassable” and, for post January 1, 2017 projects, cannot be offset by net metering credits. Under Vermont’s Net Metering rule, credits can be carried forward from month to month, but expire one year after they are generated.
Helpful Links about Vermont Net Metering
- Vermont’s Net Metering Rule
- Vermont Department of Public Service Renewable Energy Net Metering
- Vermont Public Utility Commission Net Metering
VPPSA Member’s Net Metering
Specific net metering tariffs are included in the rates document on each Member’s page.