How Does Solar Net Metering in Colorado Work

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You may be wondering “What is net metering?” “How does it work?” Don’t worry, we’re here to outline all you need to know about this topic. Net metering in Colorado is essentially an electric billing tool where solar panels or other renewable sources of energy are connected to a public power grid and excess power is fed into the grid. This allows customers who draw some power from the grid to offset the cost of their power consumption.

In Colorado, solar customers may make a one-time election in writing on or before the end of the calendar year to have their net excess generation (NEG) carried forward from month-to-month indefinitely.

With solar net metering, energy produced by your solar panel system is credited back to you when you are in need of energy. This system feature can come in handy on cloudy or rainy days when your panels will not be feeding your home’s electrical usage and you must take it from the electric grid.

All utility companies have slightly different ways of metering energy and how they pay back the overproduced power. Some utility companies let you continue to roll Kwh (Kilowatts per hour or Kilowatt-hours) over into the next year. However, other utility companies may force you to cash out at the end of the calendar year for any excess energy you have stored with them. And other utility companies base their net metering figures on Time of Use (TOU) or peak demand times, during which Kilowatt-hours are worth more due to high demand.

Colorado’s Net Metering Policy

In December 2005, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopted standards for net metering and interconnection, as required by Amendment 37 – a renewable energy ballot initiative approved by Colorado voters in November 2004. What exactly are those standards?

Here’s a brief run-down: customer-generators are eligible in Colorado for net metering for retail renewable distributed generation. All utility companies in the state are required to provide net metering service at non-discriminatory rates to customer-generators.

Systems sized up to 120% of the customer’s annual average energy use that generates electricity using qualifying renewable energy resources are eligible for net metering in investor-owned utility (IOU) service territories. Those same electricity customers can even get a free meter for the excess energy they generate for the utility company.

Don’t Forget About Meter Aggregation

A single customer with multiple meters located on contiguous property may elect to have their generator offset the load measured at more than one meter. This policy is commonly referred to as “meter aggregation,” and can play a huge role in your energy savings and ROI. If you’re interested in meter aggregation for your property, then you can receive a free meter from your utility provider.

Secure Your Energy Independence Through Net Metering in Colorado

Net metering allows utility customers to get more out of their solar investment. During the day, most solar customers will produce more electricity than they consume. Net energy metering in Colorado allows those homeowners to export that power to the grid and ultimately reduce their future electric bills.

At EcoMark Solar, we have a strong understanding of how each utility company handles net metering and how to properly explain to homeowners how net metering works in their area. We’ll work diligently with you to maximize the value of your solar investment and get you set up for an energy independent future.

Are you ready for energy independence? Contact EcoMark today to set up a consultation and get one step closer to energy independence.