Lower your electricity bill by generating power with wind, solar or other renewable energy sources
What is Net Metering?
Net metering is a billing arrangement with a local distribution company (LDC) that allows a customer to offset the electricity they buy from their LDC with electricity generated by their own renewable energy systems. Net-metered customers receive credits on their electricity bill for the electricity they send to the grid, reducing their total bill charges. These credits can be carried over for up to 12 months for application on future bills. A net-metered customer is still able to draw power from the local distribution grid when needed.
To become a net-metered customer, you must apply to your LDC to connect your renewable energy system to the grid. Contact your LDC before buying or installing a renewable energy system. In some parts of the province, you may not be able to connect a renewable energy system due to technical limitations of the electrical grid. Once your renewable energy system is installed and connected to the grid, the electricity company will read your meter and begin to bill you on a net-metered basis.
This figure shows the electricity generated by a typical net-metered solar installation on a residential rooftop in the summer:
- The blue columns show the electricity bought from their local distribution company (LDC);
- The yellow columns show the electricity generated and used on-site; and
- The green columns show the electricity that is generated and sent back to their LDC for a credit on their bill
To be eligible for net metering, a customer must:
- Generate electricity from renewable sources like solar, wind, water or bioenergy;
- Own or operate the renewable generation system;
- Meet your electricity supplier’s technical, safety and inspection requirements; and
- Get any required environmental approval and municipal building permits.
How to Apply
To apply, contact your LDC. They will assist you with the application and connection process and other steps you will need to take to ensure your project meets all the appropriate requirements to be billed on a net-metered basis.
If you are interested in learning more or starting a net metering project, contact your LDC today.
Changes to Net Metering with Ontario’s 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP): Delivering Fairness and Choice
The Province’s 2017 LTEP commits to enhance Ontario’s net-metering framework to give customers new ways to participate in clean, renewable electricity generation. In accordance with this commitment, the Ontario government intends to expand net metering eligibility to include new ownership methods and to ensure appropriate consumer protection provisions and siting restrictions are in place. Legislative and regulatory measures for these enhancements are intended to be made in 2018. The government will also work with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to develop a program to support a select number of innovative renewable distributed generation demonstration projects, as well as virtual net-metering demonstration projects.
For more information on the 2017 LTEP net-metering initiatives, contact the Renewable Energy Facilitation Office (REFO). Details provided below.
Need more information on the permits and approvals to build or install a renewable energy system?
To assist in developing new renewable energy projects, the province has established the Renewable Energy Facilitation Office (REFO), a one-window access point for where individuals, communities and municipalities with projects of all sizes can obtain information and connect with the appropriate government and agency resources.
If you are thinking about a renewable energy project but are unsure of what’s involved, then the REFO is a good starting point for you. Contact REFO by e-mail at REFO@ontario.ca or by phone at 1-877-440-7336 (416-212-6582 within the GTA.)
Learn more about net-metering through the government of Ontario website.