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Net Metered or NEM systems are the most common grid-direct (no batteries) solar PV system. These systems feed power to a single meter. Currently in DC, the total amount of energy the system produces may be no more than the meter consumes over the course of a year.

If the roof can bear more solar than the meter can consume, we typically recommend the property owner consider doing a Community Renewable Energy Facility or CREF system. In this structure, the system is wired to a new meter and the solar provider typically pays the property owner a lease fee. The resulting energy is then sold off to individual subscribers, of which the property owner can partake. The amount of money per kilowatt being earned by the property owner is typically be lower than a NEM system as the solar provider must pay a fee to the subscription entity for recruiting subscribers to the CREF system. However, CREF systems can be larger on a kilowatt basis than a NEM system, which can result in a greater amount of net revenue over all.

The PSC is DC’s Public Service Commission, which regulates PEPCO, has formed a working group comprised of local solar industry businesses, homeowners, and regulators to recommend increases to the total allowable size of a net metered system. The current proposal being considered is to raise NEM capacity from 100% to 120% over the next year and 20% points more each subsequent year, capping at 200%.

If this policy is instituted, and you had the space for it in 5 years, you could build an onsite solar array that covered twice the energy the property uses. The property would get 0¢ kWhs and you could sell the energy off at retail rates to Pepco, WHILE collecting the SRECs. Because you won’t have to pay a subscriber organization, you can realize that revenue for your business

If you already have a system, this would be a great opportunity at upgrading it to take advantage of this new ease of regulation- should it be passed!

If you are a DC resident and support this policy, please reach out to Andrew Zimdahl at [email protected] to stay updated and get involved.