Virtual Net Metering
Virtual Net Metering (VNM) is a system that distributes energy credits for those subscribed to a community solar project, such as a solar farm. VNM is a way for consumers to enjoy the benefits of using solar without going to the trouble of installing panels on their own roof. For those subscribed to community solar, utilizing energy from an off-site solar garden or solar farm, they would most likely qualify for energy credits through virtual net metering. In this scenario, consumers receive credits based on the number of solar panels they share on the community solar installation.
For example, if the consumer owns 15% of the panels, then the consumer would be credited 15% of the production in that particular community solar system. The credits would automatically appear on their electricity bill, lowering the cost of utilities significantly compared to the usual non-renewable resources. To summarize, Virtual Net Metering helps lower the cost of your electric bill by sharing solar panel arrays through a community solar project.
Which States Offer Virtual Net Metering?
Before constructing solar arrays in your area, you must have approval from the government to agree on legislation in order to enable Virtual Net Metering. Currently, only 25 states across the United States offer Virtual Net Metering. The states offering Virtual Net Metering include:
Aggregate Net Metering
Aggregate Net Metering (ANM) is a modified version of net metering. It allows a single customer to offset electrical uses from several different meters on his/her property by using a single renewable energy generating system. For example, using one renewable energy system to power multiple units of an apartment/condo.
Which States Support Aggregated Net Metering?
So far, only 17 states support Aggregate Net Metering. Certain states have specific ANM criteria regarding customer type, technology type, and distance between the meters and the renewable energy source. Each state also has several different capacity limits for the aggregated system. The following list contains the states that do allow ANM:
Remote Net Metering
Remote Net Metering is a system farms and non-residential customers use to gather credit and reduce electric bills. Those customers with wind, solar, or other electric generating equipment at one designated location utilize the excess electricity generated to gather credit. This allows energy system owners with excess net metering credits to offset their other electric accounts.
Which States Support Remote Net Metering?
Currently, only the state of New York is supporting Remote Net Metering. However, New Jersey recently passed a Remote Net Metering bill.
Virtual Net Metering, Aggregated Net Metering, and Remote Net Metering are all very similar, essentially giving the same end result - share solar energy, gain solar credit. When a state allows any of these three methods of net metering, you can assume that there will be a reduction in your electricity bill because of the utilization of excess generated electricity for varying purposes. Shared renewable resources offer an opportunity for those who do not, or can not, put solar panels on their own property to reduce their carbon footprint and save money.
By Kasey Liu