Net Metering and BEC
Your introduction to net metering! Maybe you have heard the term net metering or maybe not. Maybe you are simply interested in adding more green to your energy use portfolio and are starting your research process. We are glad you stopped here on your journey. Net metering may be the easiest part of adding a new fuel source to your energy mix. Take a look at the questions below to learn how your small distributive generation system works with our grid, how the bills are calculated and what this means for your expected rate of return on your renewable investment. Any questions? Call us, 573-449-4181.
BEC's Net-Metering Members
Members with Wind or Battery Storage
kWh Credited in 2019
Net metering is a reference to a Missouri state statute (Net Metering and Easy Connection Act. Statute: Section 386.890. RSMo.) that requires utility companies to pay their members/customers for the excess energy their renewable (wind, solar and/or hydroelectric) systems produce that goes back onto the grid. This is, of course, if the person does not have a battery storage system to hold the excess renewable production. It also requires utilities to allow Missourians adding this to their home or business to interconnect to the grid at no cost.
Once the renewable system is hooked up and approved for production, the home or business will use what it needs. Typically, for solar, this is during daylight hours when production is high and home usage is low. The PV system produces energy that travels through the home first. The energy the home does not use then goes through an inverter to become compatible with the grid (PV systems use DC current, the grid uses AC current) then through a bi-directional meter. This meter keeps track of what energy comes from the grid and goes into the home and what energy comes from the home and goes onto the grid. This is what makes a home or business a mini power generator.
Just like Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AECI), the power generator for co-ops in Missouri, SE Iowa and NE Oklahoma, buys and sells to other power generators, the statute requires AECI purchase your excess power. It purchases your power at the same cost as it does from other generators called avoided cost. Often this is 2 - 3 cents/kWh.
BEC marks AECI's purchase as a credit on your bill for your future use within 12 months of production (Credits earned in July and stated on the end of July's bill will have to be used by the following June).
If you were to add a renewable to your personal energy mix, you wouldn't find your bill would look much different. Our programs do the calculations for a simplified look. However, we do provide a supplement with more detail to our net metering members. This shows you how much energy your system produced, how much energy BEC received, how much energy BEC delivered, the "net" difference and monthly information on how your credits were stored and used. We've provided an example of our soon-to-be new supplement for members.
Service availability will continue to be paid by each member hooked to BEC's distribution lines or the grid. This cost is attached to each meter and helps cover the cost of infrastructure like lines and poles. It is not based on the amount of energy a member may or may not use.
You may find during summer months when the sun is shining, your PV system will produce more energy than your home uses and in winter, less. The money for the excess energy is stored in your account for a future bill where you use more electricity from BEC than from your PV system. You have 12 months to use the credits from the month they were produce.
Excess credits in July will need to be used by the following June.
BEC will utilize the credits toward the first available kWh usage. They cannot be used for the service availability charge. You will continue to pay that monthly.