Cross-posted at Urban Trekker.
So you want to have your electricity meter spinning backwards. Here is an idea for you: Net metering. The idea of net metering is to install renewable sources for your home generation (small wind, solar power, etc.) and whatever excess you have will be credited back to your utility bill. Via Wiki.
Net metering is an electricity policy for consumers who own, generally small, renewable energy facilities, such as wind or solar power, or uses vehicle-to-grid systems. "Net", in this context, is used in the sense of meaning "what remains after deductions" -- in this case, the deduction of any energy outflows from metered energy inflows. Under net metering, a system owner receives retail credit for at least a portion of the electricity they generate.
Net metering is a renewable energy incentive provided by your state and the Feds. By way of Energy Act of 2005, all public utilities are now "..[R]equired to make available upon request net metering to their customers."
Each state regulates its net metering policy differently. The five states which offer net metering friendly policies are: California, Maryland, Colorado, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Maryland has a Gov who is a big proponent of energy savings, alternative energy - so that helps.
Let's see what DC region has to offer.
District of Columbia
- Net metering is available to residential and commercial customer-generators with systems powered by renewable sources (Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric), combined heat and power (CHP), fuel cells and microturbines, with digester gas, and hydroelectric power.
- Limit on size is 100 KW. According to AWEA, homes use approximately 9,400 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year (or 780kWh per month).
- Excess is credited to customer's next bill at utility's retail rate.
- Offers 'interconnection standard' for net metering.
- PEPCO is the only electric company delivering the services in the District.
DC is also offering state grant on its 'Renewable Energy Demonstration Project (REDP)' The DC Energy Office is looking for homeowners on its fourth solicitation round. They're offering $9,000 for renewable energy project. Deadline for filing application is August 15, 2008.
- After it's been expanded four times, the net metering enacted in 2007 raised the maximum capacity of all eligible systems from 200 kW to 2 MW. The rules apply to all utilities. The plus is - system leased, owned by residents or businesses, schools and governments that generate using solar, biomass, or wind resources are eligible also eligible for net metering.
- Excess is credited at retail rate and carried over to customer's next bill. After 12 mos. excess is granted to utility co. at 'no' compensation to the customers. (ditto with Virginia).
Other incentives for homeowners include among other things:
1) property tax exemption if you live in Anne Arundel county when you have installed system i.e. solar water heater, solar space heat and photovoltaics (PV),
2) clean energy production credit (personal) that offers Marylanders a state income tax credit for electricity generated by 'qualified sources (keyword!)' of 0.85 cents per kWh and 0.50 cents per kWh for electricity generated from co-firing qualified sources with coal (mix sources),
3) state rebate program for geothermal heat pumps of up to $3,000 (residential) and $10,000 (commercial),
4) property tax exemption for solar water heat and photovoltaics,
5) solar energy grant program of up to $3,000 for solar water heater and $2,500 per kWh up to $10,000 for photovoltaics,
6) statewide special property assessment for solar heating and cooling systems,
Montgomery county has also clean energy rewards program which gives rebate to homeowners if they switch to clean energy of up with rebates of up to 1 cent/kWh for residential with max. limit of 20,000 kWh/year. Basically you're buying REC (renewable energy credit - and this deserves another post).
Note: We'll continue with Virginia tomorrow.
Resources and links: