The province of Ontario is currently working on enhancing its existing Net Metering program regulations to give customers new opportunities to generate and store renewable electricity, while lowering their electricity bills.
Net metering is a billing arrangement with a local utility company that allows a customer to offset the electricity they purchase with electricity they generate using their own solar panels. Here’s how it works:
If Ontario’s new proposal is approved, the ownership models will lead to more advanced approaches to Net Metering in the province. Not only will they reduce the strain on the power grid, but they will also support initiatives under the government-approved 2016-2020 Climate Change Action Plan.
Ontario’s existing Net Metering regulation is based on a requirement that states the customer must own or operate the renewable generation facility to be able to net meter. However, the Ministry of Energy aims to amend the current Net Metering regulation to allow other entities to own and operate a renewable generation facility. If the new regulations are successfully passed, eligible customers would no longer be required to be eligible generators, but could work with a third-party generator to purchase electricity generated from a renewable energy source.
Virtual Net Metering
Virtual net metering allows customers to be billed on a net-metered basis for electricity generated from a generation facility that is not connected directly to the customers’ meters. The generation facility may be located behind a host load customer meter, or directly connected to a distribution system. Credits accrued from contributed electricity are applied to associated customer accounts to offset their electricity bills.
Third-party ownership and virtual net metering models can offer increased access for Ontario electricity customers to get involved in net metering by reducing the upfront costs of buying or installing a renewable energy system. Both approaches could reduce electricity costs for Ontarians while enhancing the electrical grid.
Improving Ontario’s Net Metering Framework
In keeping the promise to improve Net Metering regulations, the Ministry of Energy plans to not only increase the Net Metering eligibility to include new ownership models, but also adapt and enhance the existing energy consumer protection framework to support the introduction of third-party ownership arrangement, and ensure appropriate siting of renewable energy generation facilities.
If you’d like to find out:
* how much you can save on your electricity bill
* how many solar panels can fit on your roof
* how much energy you can generate with your own solar panels system
fill out a request form here and receive FREE quotes from professional solar panel installers in your area!