An important question that we must get an answer before installing a new solar photo-voltaic (pv) system: who will be responsible for installing the energy meter to measure how much electricity our solar system is generating, how much electricity our house is consuming, and how much electricity our solar system is exporting to the grid?
Generally, we need to install new power meters to facilitate the injection of solar energy into the grid. These power meters are called bi-directional power meters because they measure the electrical energy "Kwh" from both directions (inlet direction, and outlet direction). In that case, when your solar system produces more electricity than your home appliances use, it exports it to the grid and the new smart energy meter reverses it and can be seen reversing it as well, which is why the power company will force you to replace your old energy meter when installing a solar photo-voltaic system.
The solar installer will install the energy meter and frequency inverter under the supervision of the power company a few days after you install the solar pv system. In this case, there are some important questions that you have to get answers from the solar company as follows.
- Will our new energy meter be able to measure off-peak electricity usage?
- Does our new energy meter measure gross electricity, or does it provide a direct net value? Generally speaking, now its net metering energy meter.
- What is the price of the energy meter? And what will the installation cost be?
- Is the price of the energy meter and the inverter installation cost included in our original quote, or is it provided free of charge?
Typically, there are codes/standards to consider when installing energy meters, and of course the solar installer will understand.
Once you have replaced your existing energy meter with a bi-directional one and your solar pv system has been well tested/commissioned, you can enjoy the high benefits of net metering installation for your house.