KEA Adopts New Net Metering Policy

Starting on January 1, 2013, KEA’s Rules and Regulations for Electric Service will include a new Net Metering policy for members interested in connecting their own renewable energy generator to KEA’s power grid. 

 What is Net Metering?

Similar to the term net income, the term net metering refers to how much electricity is made versus how much is consumed.   If a member were to generate their own power, then they would have less demand for KEA’s power.  If that member were to generate more power than they needed, then that excess power would be added to KEA’s electric grid.  

How does Net-Metering work?

For members interested in participating in this program, a new kind of meter would be installed at their home that can record how much electricity was taken from KEA’s power grid, minus how much electricity their personal generation system put back onto KEA’s grid.  At the end of each month, the meter is read to determine the net usage of electricity – whether that be from KEA to the member, or from the member to KEA.

If a personal generator cannot keep up with personal demand, then KEA’s power is right there as always and the member would pay their bill according to their current rate schedule.  If the generator made so much electricity that it exceeded personal use, that excess electricity would be put back on KEA’s grid and the member’s account would be credited according to KEA’s avoided energy cost.

 What is Avoided Energy Cost?

Avoided energy cost is the purchase price that KEA can credit to a member’s account when their personal generator supplies excess electricity back onto the grid.  This purchase price is determined by KEA’s diesel usage.

In considering if Net Metering is in your best financial interest, KEA would like to remind you that we primarily generate your electric energy needs with renewable energy, and therefore very little if any credit will be applied to your electric account for the excess energy you generate. 

 How does KEA’s renewable energy vision affect Avoided Energy Cost?

As KEA continues to enhance our renewable energy portfolio, diesel usage is expected to decline.  Therefore, the buy-back rate for net metering is also expected to decline.  KEA cautions the membership on purchasing and installing a renewable generation facility under the idea that the sale of their excess generation would create profit.  If KEA’s renewable wind and water portfolio provides all the electric energy needs for our community and diesel engines are only run for routine maintenance purposes, then the avoided energy cost is zero.  

 What is an Eligible Member Generation System? 

An eligible member generation system is an electric generator no greater than 25 kilowatts in capacity that produces electricity from renewable energy sources.  Examples of renewable energy sources include solar, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal, and ocean energies.  The electric generator must be located on the member’s property, and its primary use must be to offset a portion if not all of that member’s single-family, residential electricity requirements. 

 How can I apply to interconnect my renewable generation system to the KEA grid?

Effective January 1, 2013, if you wish to install and operate your own electrical generation system and interconnect it to KEA’s grid, please call KEA Member Services at 486-7700 or come by KEA’s downtown office anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday to pick up an informational packet and application.  After you have reviewed the information and returned a completed application to the KEA Member Services Department, KEA’s Operations and Engineering Department will contact you to discuss your specific interconnection plan.

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