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Customer Connected Solar


» Jump to: How Net Metering works
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Net Metering is available to customers who connect and generate at least a portion of the electricity they use through means of solar PV, wind, micro hydro, biomass from animal waste, or fuel cells, up to 100 kW in capacity.

Customers that generate their own electricity, and are connected to the utility's distribution grid, offset electricity that would otherwise be purchased from the utility.

There may be times when the customer's system generates more electricity than the home needs. In these cases, a credit is issued to the customer's account for the extra power that can be used during the following month(s) until the annual true-up. In other words, the customer will only pay for the energy that PSE provides.

Benefits of Net Metering:

  • Creates a reduction in electricity bills.
  • Net Metering ensures that the customer's system is connected to the utility's grid, so even during cloudy or windless days, there is always a dependable source of electricity.

How Net Metering works

A net meter is capable of measuring both the electricity supplied by the utility as well as any excess supplied by the customer's system back to the grid.

One of the primary benefits of Net Metering is that when a customer's home requires less electricity, like when everyone is at work or school, the system may still produce electricity. When the system is connected to the grid, that electricity is being put back into the grid. The difference between what the home uses from PSE versus what they system generates is the "net" in Net Metering.

To apply, customers can use our online portal to submit an application for interconnection and net metering.

Documents required for enrollment in PSE's Net Metering program:

Information for system installers:

All customer generation system applications and schematics must be approved by PSE before a system is installed. Learn More. »

Solar PV Generating System graphic Solar PV Generating System graphic 

Typical generating systems include:

  • The mode of generation, such as solar PV, wind generators, small-scale hydro, and biomass.
  • An inverter, which converts the DC (direct current) energy produced to AC (alternating current).
  • A disconnection device, which ensures system safety for PSE employees and customers.
    The type of device depends on the total output capacity of the system.

Resources

Here are a few of many websites and guides that offer useful renewable energy information:

Consumer protection—what to do before you buy!

  1. Get 2-3 bids on your project. Houses have unique rooflines, shading and existing electrical services so the cost of each project can vary. Consumers can get the best deal by asking more than one PV installer for a quote.
  2. Know your installer. Some installers have a good record over many years locally, while some are new to the business. Get references and then call them.
  3. Understand your warranties. The panels should last about 25 years while the inverter will typically last about 10 years. In the Puget Sound area 1 kW of PV should produce about 1,000 kWh per year, and produce 1,400 kWh per year in eastern Washington.
  4. Learn about your payback. Each bid should provide you with an estimate of payback period based on system cost, tax benefits, subsidies and future costs.
  5. Watch for shade. Shade will reduce your system’s output. Your installer should discuss this issue with you.
  6. Call PSE. PSE can answer any questions before you buy, and can provide you with referrals to contractors who have been vetted for quality and trust. For referrals to these prescreened contractors, please call our energy advisors at 1-800-562-1482.