Net metering allows MEA members to generate a portion of their electricity from an approved site generating source. This can offset the member’s own personal energy usage and in some cases cover beyond the member’s personal usage. Any unused electricity generated by the member, can be sold back to MEA at a rate comparable to the avoided cost of MEA having to generate that same energy. A net metering member's generation source produces 25 kilowatts or less. Our Qualifying Facilities (QF-1) program is for generation sources that produce <100 kW.
Please note: the major difference between the Net Metering and QF-1 Programs is that there are no net calculations performed on the energy exchanges between the Member and MEA in the QF-1 Program. A participant of the QF-1 Program may receive a bill and a payment in the same month, whereas a participant of the Net Metering Program will receive either a bill or credit every month.
The Net Metering Program is established through MEA tariff and governed by Alaska Admin Code 3 AAC 50.900 – 949. In general, private generation systems are eligible for net metering if they have a total size of 25 kilowatts (kW) or less, are owned or leased by an MEA member, are located on the MEA member’s property, and generate electricity from a renewable resource. For Alaska Statutes regarding net metering of electric energy throughout the state please click here.
Additional terms and requirements for participation in the MEA Net Metering Program are found in the MEA Net Metering Interconnection Agreement. MEA will use a bi-directional meter capable of measuring both energy consumed and the energy put onto the MEA system by the Member. Participants in the Net Metering Program will be billed or credited via the normal billing process:
· In each month where the Member consumes more energy than they generate the Member will be billed for the difference at the applicable rate.
· In each month where the Member generates more energy than they consume the Member will receive a credit on their next bill for the difference at the non-firm rate identified in MEA tariff. The non-firm rate in MEA tariff is currently the Small Facility Power Purchase Rate (SFPPR)and is adjusted quarterly. The non-firm rate is subject to change.
Do Your Research
Understand the different generation options and which one is best for your location. Many members choose to conduct a small study of the wind or solar resources available to better determine the actual output of their system vs. system specs. To be eligible for net metering, a member must be generating from one of the following sources at their location (producing less than 25 kW): (A) solar photovoltaic and solar thermal energy; (B) wind energy; (C) biomass energy, including landfill gas or biogas produced from organic matter, wastewater, anaerobic digesters, or municipal solid waste; (D) hydroelectric energy; (E) geothermal energy; (F) hydrokinetic energy; (G) ocean thermal energy; (H) other sources as approved by the commission that generally have similar environmental impact.
There are no application fees and many small installations do not incur interconnection costs, however; where necessary, an applicant will be required to pay for associated expenses such as engineering design, hardware upgrades, and labor. An estimate of the interconnection costs will be provided to the applicant after the application has been received and prior to any contract being executed. The interconnection costs must be paid in full prior to a contract being executed and MEA beginning work.
This is the responsibility of the member. MEA does not have the resources to design these systems for each interested member. Many members find hiring a contractor and/or installer extremely helpful and MEA technicians report this typically makes the process more efficient for us as well. It’s most helpful to MEA when installers have worked with us in the past or uses our resource guide to understand our system requirements.
Before or during the construction of your project, head to any MEA office to pick up an application or download the application. Completed applications can significantly decrease processing time. Completed applications include:
This can take 2-4 weeks depending on the current workload. Processing time is faster if your application is complete, and the engineer has few follow up questions. The engineer will not look at the entire system design except for the components that link to our system. This is only a review of how your system connects to ours, not a verification of system design or performance.
The engineer will complete a final site inspection to ensure the actual construction matches the design and meets MEA’s system requirements. Application approval and final steps. Once your application is approved:
If you have already submitted a Net Metering application and have questions about the status of your application, please contact Design Engineer Taylor Roth at email@example.com or call 907-761-9571.