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Frequently Asked Questions

**All net-metering inquiries and applications should be sent to netmetering@svec.coop.**

What is net metering?

Net metering is one way to measure and value the output of member-owned generation.  The intent of a net metering arrangement is to allow the member to meet all, or part, of their electricity requirements by using renewable fuel generation on the member’s premises.

What renewable sources and other technologies are eligible?

Solar thermal electric, photovoltaics, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal electric, municipal solid waste, small hydroelectric, tidal energy, and wave energy.

What happens if I use more energy than I have generated?

Then, you pay only for the net energy that you have received from the system, plus any fixed monthly charges provided by the applicable rate schedule.

What happens if I generate more energy than I have used?

You will carry a kWh credit balance with SVEC for the excess amount. You could expect a monthly bill with solar to be as little as our basic consumer charge (plus taxes and fees) if all kWh consumption was produced by the solar array. If you have a month where you use more than you produce, these credits are applied to your account before you are charged for any electricity delivered to you. These kWh credits do not expire and there is no cap on accrual.

How do you credit my generation?

As your solar array produces electricity, that energy feeds into your main electrical panel. Any home loads running at the time (refrigerator, HVAC, lights, etc.) consume that energy. If there is extra energy after those home loads consume what they need, that energy is fed back into the electrical grid. We provide kWh credits on your account for that energy.

Where are the rate schedules for net metering?

They are: Schedule NEM-10

What do I need to do if I am considering net metering? 

All net-metering inquiries and applications should be sent to netmetering@svec.coop.

Also, a step-by-step guide is available here, and the full interconnection process is available here.

Are there any fees associated with the application process or monthly fees for having the system?

There is a $50 net meter inspection fee that SVEC charges to inspect the system and change the meter. This is typically paid by your solar installer on your behalf. A monthly bill with solar can be as little as our basic consumer charge (plus taxes and fees) if all kWh consumption was produced by the solar array. This is our base charge to be connected to the SVEC distribution system. There are no standby fees assessed by SVEC.

Can I use net metering at my non-residential account?

Yes. There is a maximum capacity limit of 1 MW for non-residential systems, and a 20 kW limit for residential systems.

How do I read my Net Meter?

Our Landis + Gyr Focus AXR Net Meters contain three to four rolling values, depending on how the meter is programmed.

REC = Received. This is electricity being put back on the grid from the solar array, AFTER any home load consumption. This value only goes up.

DEL = Delivered. This is electricity SVEC has delivered to the member. This value only goes up.

NET = Net Value, Delivered – Received. This value can go up or down depending on how much electricity the solar array has produced.

DLX = Demand. This value does not currently apply to residential accounts and may not be programmed into your meter.

If I only have a few months of usage, will the solar installers be able to estimate my annual consumption based on those months to determine the size of the system?

Yes! Most installers will take the square footage of your home and any major energy users and calculate an expected load based on these factors. The installer will provide this information to us, along with your application, so we can verify the system sizing.

Does SVEC allow a system that is up to 150% of annual consumption?

We do not. During the 2020 General Assembly, new rules went into place for Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) only. Electric Cooperatives operate under our own set of net metering rules which still includes the 100% of annual consumption cap. See the NEM-10 tariff for additional information.

What are Renewable Energy Credits?

Also known as green certificates, green tags, or tradable renewable certificates, they represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects and are sold separate from commodity electricity.  For more information, visit https://energy.gov/eere/femp/federal-site-renewable-energy-purchases-and-renewable-energy-certificates

Where can I get more information about net metering and other related topics?

For additional information on rules and regulations, please view the State Corporation Commission’s Order Adopting Regulations by clicking here.

DSIRE:  Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, a source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

United State Department of Energy, Solar Energy Technologies Program, which gives more information about cost-effective solar technologies that have the greatest potential to benefit the nation and the world.

United States Department of Energy, Wind Powering America, which gives information about wind power, and a wind resource map for Virginia.