In late spring 2012, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) mandated that all photovoltaic facilities participating the in the New Jersey SREC market have revenue-grade meters installed to monitor system production. Previous to the ruling it was possible for systems with a nameplate capacity of less than 10 kW create SRECs from production estimates derived from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PV Watts production calculator. This ruling impacts thousands system of homeowners in New Jersey who have gone solar over the past several years. You can read more about the decision at the New Jersey office of Clean Energy website. The two key aspects of this ruling are:
1. In order to be eligible for SRECs, all NJ customers must have a revenue-grade meter by November 30, 2012.
2. Customers who have had SRECs created by estimates will have to begin reporting readings by November 30, 2012.
Revenue-grade meters are power production meters that measure to +/- 2% accuracy per the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) rule C12.1-2008. Inverters often have power production meters but they are often only accurate to +/- 10%. The revenue-grade meter is the device that measures the output of your solar system, not the utility meter that measures how much power you take from the power grid. Many residential installs in New Jersey have used cheaper, non-revenue-grade meters because the state originally did not require them. If your meter is not a revenue-grade meter or you are unsure about whether or not you have a revenue-grade meter, you will need to contact your installer. If you are unable to reach your installer, you can use our directory to find a local installer. We have seen price quotes in the $300 to $1,000 range depending on equipment requirements and facility location.
Switching from Estimates
Many of our customers already report their readings to SRECTrade each month. If you have not been reporting to us because you are on “Estimated Generation”, your SRECs will no longer be created automatically after November 30th. On that date, we will switch all customers who are currently on “estimates” to “reported readings”. If you are on estimates and are able to begin reporting your readings from your revenue-grade meter sooner than that, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the date that the meter was installed and your current meter reading. We will then update your account and explain how to report your readings directly to your www.srectrade.com account moving forward.
***If you have questions about revenue-grade meters, please contact an installer. We won’t be able to answer questions regarding your solar equipment.
Finally, it is very important that you comply with this change, otherwise you will lose thousands of dollars in potential SREC revenues in the long run. We understand that the BPU ruling is unfortunately retroactive for systems that did not have a meter already installed, however, we hope that this information will make it easier for you to comply with the change.