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Net Metering

Export power back to ECG to balance your monthy bill

What is Net Metering ?

Net Metering is a regulatory model that allow electricity producers to “export” surplus to the national grid, and use the “exported” electricity to balance out deficit, allowing households/organizations to meet their own electricity demand with their own production.

This is particularly important with wind and solar. Monthly net metering allows consumers to use solar power generated during the day at night, or wind from a windy day later in the month. Annual net metering rolls over a net kilowatt credit to the following month, cutting the cost of electricity for the consumer.

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In a typical Net Metering system, electricity is usually generated by a renewable source permitting households and organizations to produce their own electricity. The electricity generation is sized to match the consumer’s consumption. The system is integrated with the grid, allowing surplus electricity produced to be fed into the grid while any deficit in production is compensated by the grid. For instance, a household with a solar system install will usually generate a lot of electricity during the day. In a case where this household has few batteries, the battery charges up quickly and the surplus electricity is utilizes during the day or goes “wasted”. But in a Net Metering system, the excess electricity produced will be transported to the grid and can be used later when the consumer’s batteries run down.

Measuring the electricity produced and consumed is very important in the Net Metering system. To measure the produced and consumed electricity, a reversible meter is usually installed. This will not only allow excess electricity to be exported to the grid but will measure the exact amount of electricity exported. The billing is based on the net amount of electricity consumed per billing period- the difference between amount of electricity consumed and amount produced. If a household produces more than it consumes, the surplus carried over.

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Key Decision in Ghana’s Net Metering Code

Condition Decision in Ghana’s Net Metering Code
Compensation for net excess generation Retail rate
Monthly excess generation rollover arrangement Rolled over to following month
Annual excess generation rollover arrangement Excess at end of the calendar year expires
Individual net-metered installation capacity 50oKWp
Aggregate net-metered capacity limit To be defined later
Eligible renewable technologies All
Customer classes that can participate All
Utilities that must offer net metering All
Grid connection & net meter cost borne by: Net-metered customer
Standby charges and fees for participants All statutory levies and taxes still apply to consumption from grid (cannot be defrayed with export to grid).
Number of meters per system One bi-directional meter
Electrical system phase allowed Single and three phase

Pros

  • Ghana improves energy diversity and security with little burden on Government
  • ECG meets REPO requirement at minimal cost
  • ECG becomes regional leader in grid-connected solar PV know-how
  • ECG could expand business portfolio to include:
    • Solar-based energy contracting
    • O&M and
    • Monitoring equipment and systems

Cons

  • ECG will have additional administrative processes
  • PV is booming worldwide, ECG could become a know-how-leader -or loose market-share(as German utilities) and money