Meter runs backwards BUT the bill doesn't

Discussion in 'Connecting to the Grid' started by TimH, May 12, 2014.

  1. I hoping someone can explain this one to me....

    Background: I have an analog meter from the electrical company still, and it spins backwards all day long on sunny days with my GTI w/5000 watts of solar panels. I live in Massachusetts which gets a mix of rain/cloud/sun and my GTI tells me I generated about 400KWH last month.

    The issue: My bill hasn't changed since installing solar, I normally use about 1000KWH a month, so I expected to see about 600KWH. When I compare the analog meter reading to the bill, it is off by 10KWH and when I called the electric company they said the readings are now electronic even if I have an analog meter and the electronic is what they base the bill off of.

    So I suspect that the analog meter reading is useless and all the energy I'm pumping back into the grid is not being credited to me. Anyone else heard of this electronic meter reading method the power companies use that doesn't reflect correctly on the analog meter attached to the house?
  2. leamywind1

    leamywind1 WindyNation Engineer

    Look on your electric bill to see if you are being charged for having a solar system. Also, is your system legally registered with the utility? Is your electric bill estimated at times? Like a smart meter their electronic system may not read outgoing power unless you are registered legally. This is how they are getting on top of people using solar if you are not UL compliant and registered. You may have to read up on their regulations too. Just a few thoughts:)
  3. I haven't registered it and I suspected they have a 'one-way' meter but didn't know if that was true or not. Massachusetts laws are ridiculous in that only licensed solar installers are allow to do the installations. Just adding to the cost of solar and making it less appealing for people.
  4. I'm not an expert, but if that GTI gets hot while it's on than that could be some of the loss. Wire diameter....I use a infrared thermometer for connections. Heat wastes energy, and throws that common core math off. Since they own the meter you need to figure out a differant way to screw them back. I got my own game going on.
  5. Old thread but interested in this...subject.

    I understand that ‘if’ you have enough panels and batteries, one can creatively install an automatic transfer switch such that your solar is seen by the transfer switch as the primary power (wired to the normally grid-connected side) and your street/grid connection is on the generator/backup side.

    Once your inverter cuts off on its low voltage protect, the transfer switch yanks up the grid until the cut-in voltage of the batteries kicks back on the inverter.

    Now there’s some significant up front expenses to that... So I’m not sure how much you can/will save in dollars- if any. But if sticking it to the power company is the goal this is a fairly workable but ghetto guerrilla solar approach where net metering isn’t allowed or possible.

    I’d be interested in hearing more on this subject.
  6. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    I think you would have to have the inverter running on stand-by on one circuit.
    And while the grid is up grid power flows thru the relay.
    When power fails it de-latches and inverter power now flows thru the relay till grid power comes back up and re energizes the relay.

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