• James Granum

What is Net Metering?

Updated: Jan 26, 2019

Why is this new rule changing the way people go solar?

What is net metering?

Net metering essentially allows homeowners to use the existing electrical grid to store and sell the electricity they produce during the day. As you produce electricity during the day, it flows through your net meter and back onto the grid. This is fantastic because none of the energy you produce will go to waste. As it goes back to the grid it will be used to power your neighbors homes. You receive credits for the electricity you produce so that you can power your house at night without the use of a battery.

Net metering in Virginia is available on a first-come, first-served basis until the rated generating capacity owned and operated by customer-generators reaches 1% of an electric distribution company's adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year. Net metering is available to customers of investor-owned utilities (including competitive suppliers) and electric cooperatives, but not to customers of municipal utilities. 


Virginia's net-metering law applies to electric customers who generate electricity from renewable fuel sources* that are up to 20 kilowatts (kW) capacity for residential customers and 1,000 kW in capacity for non-residential customers. The generation systems must be located on the customer’s property and must be sized to primarily offset the customer’s electricity requirements. Systems installed after July 1, 2015 shall not exceed the expected annual energy consumption based on 12 month of billing history or annualized calculation if the billing history is not available.  

After July 2019, all eligible agricultural customer-generators will be able to interconnect only as “small agricultural generators”. Small agricultural generators will be credited through a buy-all, sell-all arrangement at a non-retail rate. 

Prospective net metering customers must receive approval to interconnect from their electric supplier prior to installation of the generation system. The electric distribution company must notify within 30 days if the customer meets the requirements for net metering. The net metering application is considered automatically approved if the electric company fails to notify within 30 days for residential customers and 60 days for non-residential customers. 

Information gathered from

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