27 August 2009

Virginia once again Trails the Nation in Renewable Energy

For those folks who have or are considering Net Metering, be careful when offered a "smart meter". It is smart alright, smart like a fox. The old adage "spin your meter backwards" applies to the old fashioned geared electrical meters. When you produce surplus energy the meter spins backwards, in essence erasing KWh from your meter and giving you a 1:1 payback, i.e. you produce one Kwh you get credit for one Kwh. Makes sense no?

Not to the electric utilities of Virginia. They are only required to buy back the surplus energy at the lowest wholesale price, which for those in Roanoke is about 3 1/2 cents per KWh. Well you are paying about 8 cent per KWh. Now a "smart meter" is smart enough to know the difference between power your using, for which you are paying 8 cents and power your generating, which they are "purchasing" for 3 1/2 cents. So you are getting credit for less then 1/2 of what your producing.

I am investigating a change to the law that supposedly made the 1:1 equation a mandate in Virginia, but have not been able to find the legislation.

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