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Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – Net Metering

Harnessing the Power of the Sun

Did you know that more energy falls on the earth from the sun– in one hour– than the world uses in one year? There are many reasons why homeowners and businesses install a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system but improving the environment and cutting energy costs are the most common. PV systems are composed of individual solar cells configured onto a solar panel that generates electricity, connects directly to your electric service, and is interconnected with NHEC’s electric system or “grid”.

Seven Steps to Solar

  1. AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR SOLAR PV?
    Try the free online Solar-Estimate Calculator  that estimates the size and energy production of a grid-connected Solar PV system at your address.  
  2. RESEARCH ENERGY EFFICIENCY OPPORTUNITIES
    Prior to sizing your solar system research energy efficiency measures that may help you reduce your electric consumption and realize added efficiency and savings associated with the size of the solar system. NHEC offers a portfolio of energy efficiency options for your home  or business.
  3. LOOK FOR FEDERAL AND STATE INCENTIVES
    Federal tax credits and NH PUC rebates may be available for the installation of qualified Solar PV systems. You can research available incentives online, or consult a tax professional. You can also check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
  4. RESEARCH AND SELECT A SOLAR CONTRACTOR
    There are a number of solar installers in the area who offer the expertise, high-quality workmanship, and reliable customer service to ensure your system performs efficiently. You may elect to solicit multiple quotes and then choose the contractor that provides the best installation package to suit your needs.
  5. SUBMIT INTERCONNECTION APPLICATION TO NHEC
    Your solar contractor, along with NHEC’s program administrator, will help you complete and submit NHEC’s Interconnection Application. The process of constructing and interconnecting your Solar PV system may vary based on project specifics. If required, improvements or upgrades to NHEC’s electrical system may be necessary. These system improvement costs are responsibility of the member. It is important to note that you may not interconnect a renewable system to the grid prior to contacting NHEC.
  6. BEGIN INSTALLATION
    Once the submitted Interconnection Application is reviewed and accepted by the program administrator and system upgrades (if required) have been completed, the installation may begin.
  7. POST INSTALATION
    NHEC will schedule a site visit to ensure the installation is compliant with NHEC standards and, if all is in order, NHEC representative will finalize the interconnection process by replacing your existing meter with a “net” meter that allows us to measure the amount of energy you use, as well as any excess energy that is produced and exported by your system. A solar production meter will also be installed in accordance with the Renewable Energy Credit (REC) Member Agreement.

Investment

Sizing a Solar PV system for your home or business is an important preliminary step in determining your overall investment. The solar contractor will be able to assist you in sizing your system appropriately. Current and future energy goals are key factors to consider. Other costs of a Solar PV system to consider are equipment options, location, labor, and local permitting. In addition, when discussing options with the solar installer, the decision to purchase the system outright, finance, or lease the system can affect the total up-front cost. Financing and leasing options may be offered by the installing contractor or lending institutions.

Billing & Net Metering

Net metering is available to members using their own renewable energy source to generate electricity and interconnect to the grid. Reference NHEC’s Terms and Conditions, Section X – Net Metering and NHEC’s Schedule of Rates. NHEC strongly recommends net metering members become familiar with the information contained within these documents.

Net Meter: NHEC will remove your existing meter and install a net meter during the interconnection process. This meter allows NHEC to measure the amount of energy delivered by NHEC to your home or business, as well as any excess energy that is produced by your system and exported to the electrical grid.

Your Bill: You will remain an NHEC member after installing a solar or other renewable energy system and will continue to receive a monthly bill.

Other Considerations

Moving: If you decide to move and had previously installed Solar PV, the value of the system is typically incorporated into the purchase price of your home. You are required to provide NHEC written notice of property transfer of ownership.

Inform Your Energy Supplier:  We recommend that you inform your third-party electric supplier (if applicable) of your plans to install Solar PV.

Power Outages: Unless you have a backup battery system installed, you will not have power during an outage. Inverters, that are utilized on all interconnected Solar PV systems, are required by code to automatically disconnect from the grid when the utility power goes out.  This provides an important safety mechanism that prevents power from feeding back to the lines.

Contact NHEC: If you have additional questions about going solar or connecting another renewable energy system to the NHEC, please contact Scott McNeil at mcneils@nhec.com or 603.536.8608.