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Understanding Net Metering in Nova Scotia: How it Works and Why it Matters

Net metering is an essential program for those looking to invest in renewable energy, particularly solar power, in Nova Scotia. This system allows residents and businesses to generate their electricity and feed any excess power back into the grid, effectively lowering their energy bills and contributing to a more sustainable energy future. Let’s dive into the details of how net metering works and why it’s beneficial for Nova Scotians.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a photovoltaic (PV) system on their roof, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. Net metering allows the customer to export that excess electricity to the utility grid, receiving credits that can offset electricity consumed from the grid at night or on cloudy days.

How Does Net Metering Work in Nova Scotia?

  1. Installation of a Solar PV System: The first step is to install a solar PV system at your home or business. This system should be appropriately sized to meet your energy needs, which a professional solar installer like our company can help determine.
  2. Connection to the Grid: Once your solar system is installed, it needs to be connected to the Nova Scotia Power (NSP) grid. This involves an application process where NSP ensures your system complies with safety and technical standards.
  3. Bidirectional Meter: NSP installs a bidirectional meter that can track both the electricity you draw from the grid and the excess electricity you send back. This meter is crucial for accurately measuring the net amount of electricity used and produced.
  4. Billing and Credits: When your solar panels generate more electricity than you use, the excess energy is sent back to the grid. NSP provides you with a credit for this excess energy, which can offset the cost of electricity you draw from the grid when your solar panels aren’t producing enough power (e.g., at night or during winter months). At the end of the billing cycle, you only pay for your net electricity usage.

Benefits of Net Metering

Cost Savings: By generating your electricity and feeding excess power back into the grid, you can significantly reduce your electricity bills. The credits you earn from net metering can offset future energy costs, leading to substantial long-term savings.

Energy Independence: Net metering allows you to become more self-sufficient by generating your own renewable energy. This reduces your reliance on traditional power sources and helps stabilize energy costs.

Environmental Impact: Using solar power reduces your carbon footprint. By participating in net metering, you contribute to a cleaner environment by decreasing the demand for fossil fuel-based electricity and promoting renewable energy use.

Supporting the Grid: Excess energy you produce helps supply the grid with clean power, benefiting the overall energy system. This can be particularly valuable during peak demand times.

How to Get Started with Net Metering in Nova Scotia

  1. Consult with a Solar Energy Expert: Engage with a reputable solar energy company (like us!) to assess your property’s solar potential and determine the best system size for your needs. Get started here.
  2. Apply for Net Metering: Submit a net metering application to Nova Scotia Power. This is only required for systems over 27kW AC and we’ll take care of this for you!
  3. Install Your System: Once approved, proceed with the installation of your solar PV system.
  4. Monitor Production: After installation, regularly monitor your system’s performance and watch your net-metering credits roll in.

Conclusion

Net metering in Nova Scotia is a fantastic opportunity for residents and businesses to harness the power of the sun, save on energy costs, and contribute to a greener future. By understanding how net metering works and taking advantage of this program, you can join the growing community of Nova Scotians committed to renewable energy and sustainability.

Ready to explore net metering for your home or business? Contact us today to learn more about how you can benefit from solar power and start your journey towards energy independence.

Sources:

https://www.nspower.ca/cleanandgreen/clean-energy/clean-energy-sources#solar

https://www.energyhub.org/nova-scotia