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Net metering

 

Interested in producing your own electricity? Let us provide you with general information to assist you in making an informed decision. Ohio’s net metering rules, found in section 4901:1-10-28 of the Ohio Administrative Code, allow you to do so if you meet the following criteria:

  • The generating equipment for producing electricity must be intended primarily to offset part or all of your own electricity requirements (up to 120%).
  • Acceptable generation resources include solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, hydropower, microturbines and fuel cells.
  • Such generating equipment must be located on your own premises; and
  • Must be interconnected to the electric utility’s distribution system.

What is net metering?

Net metering is a billing arrangement where customers who produce their own electricity can receive a credit on their electric utility bills for any extra electricity produced by the customer that flows back onto the electric utility’s distribution system.

Generating your own electricity may reduce your electric bill in two ways:

  • The electricity you produce displaces electricity you would otherwise have purchased from the electric utility (or from a competitive supplier); and
  • Your electricity bill is lowered by the amount of electricity your generating system feeds back onto the electric utility’s distribution system.

How does net metering work?

If you want a net metering billing arrangement, your generating equipment must be interconnected to the local electric utility’s distribution system. You must also use an advanced meter capable of registering the flow of electricity in each direction. Whenever your generating equipment produces more electricity than you need, the extra electricity flows backward through the advanced meter on your property making it turn in reverse. This reverse metering is “netted” against your total energy usage for the month in the form of a bill credit, thus lowering your electric bill.

What happens to that credit?

Net metering credits can be used to offset charges in future months and will continuously carry forward on future bills. Credits are associated with your current premise and may be lost if you relocate or stop taking service from the electric utility.

Under net metering, are all utility charges subject to the credit?

No. The energy you produce is credited at the energy rate of the electric utility's standard service offer. Net metering customers are not credited for distribution or transmission services provided by the electric utility.

What if I choose a competitive electric supplier?

A competitive retail electric service (CRES) provider may provide a net metering contract with its customers, however, only customers who have signed an interconnection agreement with the electric utility may engage in net metering with a CRES provider. Under the rule, the electric utility shall transmit or make available to the CRES provider the customer-generator's interval meter data for the billing period, including usage data.

What if I am served by a rural electric cooperative or a municipal electric utility?

Rural electric cooperatives and municipal electric utilities are not required to offer net metering, but some may do so. Contact your rural electric cooperative or municipal utility to find out what they offer.

How do I get started?

Contact your local electric utility  to request an application for interconnection service for your proposed generating equipment. The interconnection review process varies based on the amount of electricity you intend to produce and the location of your equipment on the electric utility’s distribution system. Once you are interconnected to the electric utility’s distribution system, you must request the utility’s net metering tariff.

More information on the interconnection process can be found on the PUCO's Distributed energy: generating your own electricity page.