I often get asked how the billing works with the local utility with respect to solar. Do I need batteries for lights at night? I use most of my power in the winter, but produce more power in the summer. How does that work?
In the Durango area, the local utility (LPEA) 'resets the clock' so to speak on April 1st every year. In other words, they begin to count your solar production and subtract your usage for the year on April 1. Let's say that your solar system produces 1,000 kWh in April, but you only use 900 kWh. You would receive a credit for the extra 100 kWh that you produced and this would 'roll over' to May. If you continue to produce more electricity with your solar system than you use your credits will continue to grow through the spring and summer. These credits would then be used in the fall and winter as you consume more than you produce. If the stars are aligned, you use all your credits by April 1st and the cycle starts again. Other possible outcomes could be that your system didn't produce quite enough to get you through the year and you have a bill in February through March. On the other hand, if you produce more than you consume in a given year, then you will receive a credit on your account or a check from the local utility for the excess production.
Another way to think about it is that you sell the electricity from your solar system to the utility at the same rate that you buy it back from them. The 'net' is what you owe them or they owe you.
Here's an example of a meter spinning backwards with a solar system attached.
If you'd like to save money on your electric bill by having your meter spin backwards, give us a call! We're a full service solar contractor and installer serving the Durango area that specializes in grid tied solar electric systems.