Here at beyondthebayblog, we’ve switched some of our focus to environment and energy issues in the region. Gary has been looking into the regional utility system, and examining some of the challenges associated with switching to more renewable energy. Specifically, he’s tackling the issue of net metering.
As property owners in Virginia decide to install and utilize small-scale solar panels while remaining connected to the grid, they must participate in net metering. The grid stores excess solar power generated by a consumer, and allows the consumer to buy electricity from the grid when they either can’t generate enough solar power, or are unable to generate any solar (such as at nighttime). Without storage solutions (reliable batteries are still very expensive), and without living entirely off-grid, consumers with solar power must participate in net metering. As you can guess, net metering tends to favor the consumer with solar, as his or her electricity bills generally decline in monthly cost. Utility companies tend to view this as a threat, and as such, certain companies such as Dominion Energy here in Virginia, place a cap on how much solar can be generated within the state. (Rooftop solar is currently capped at 1% of Dominion’s generating capacity). Gary has gone a little more in-depth, to examine the pros and cons of net metering, in his document “Bottom-line on Net Metering.” Please take a look. netMeteringDefense=v2