Enhanced Net Metering

Enhanced Net Metering


When participating in the Net Metering Program, you can generate your own electricity while still being able to draw from our power grid when needed.

 

HOW IT WORKS

Nova Scotia Power customers can install a variety of renewable energy sourced generators such as a wind turbine or set of solar panels – or even a small hydro or biomass generator – to help power their home or business. If your renewable generating unit produces more energy than you use at any one time, the un-used electricity will flow onto the local grid for others to use. If you generate more electricity than you can use, these surplus kilowatt-hours (kWh) will be “banked” and applied to your next bill to offset any electricity drawn from the grid.

 

What is a distribution zone? 

Click here for more information about distribution zones.

 

A FEW THINGS TO CONSIDER

Your renewable energy generator can be sized to meet, but not exceed your expected yearly electricity consumption up to a nameplate capacity of 100 kW*. If you have multiple accounts with us, you’re able to use your generator to supply electricity to your other accounts as long as they are within the same geographical area known as a distribution zone. For example, while a larger wind turbine may not be feasible to use at a single home, it could potentially be used to help power multiple properties with the same account owner in a given community.

Municipalities may have their own regulations and bylaws with respect to installing renewable generators such as the siting of wind turbines or roof structure requirements for installing solar panels. Contact your specific municipality’s planning office for more specific information.

How to Apply

HOW TO APPLY

Please review the Application Process Flow Chart.

  • Fill out the Interconnection Request and Equipment Information Form, and save it to your computer.
  • Attach scanned copies of: 
    • Manufacturer information for the protective equipment (see Section 6);
    • Range of settings, including proposed, for each of protective functions (see Section 6);
    • Single-line diagram (see Section 7);
    • Site plan (see Section 7).
    • Protective device data to control interconnection (see Section 7).
    • Point-of-Contact information for Interconnection, if different than customer (see Section 7).

Attach all of the above in an email and send to netmetering@nspower.ca

You can also mail completed application forms to:

Nova Scotia Power Inc.,
P.O. Box 910, Halifax NS
B3J 2W5
ATTN: Net Metering Team

Other Important Related Documents for Review:

Note: This is not to be included with your applicable application form.

FAQs:


What types of generating units are eligible for the proposed net metering program?

A qualified generation device with a production capacity up to 100 kW that uses only renewable low-impact electricity as defined in the Renewable Electricity Regulations under Section 5 of the Electricity Act. These electricity sources include:

  • solar
  • wind
  • run-of-the-river hydroelectric
  • ocean-powered
  • tidal
  • wave
  • sustainably harvested biomass
  • landfill gas

How can I find out my annual power consumption?

If you save copies of your bills and/or have a MyAccount profile, you can total the number of kWh used over the course of the year for all accounts of which you intend to net meter, or alternatively sum up the totals for past electric use for the most recent year on right-hand side of your bill.

If you’re installing a customer-generation device as part of a new service, your electrical contractor should be able to assist you determine your forecasted demand.

How do I determine if a generator is sized to meet my needs?

We’ll evaluate the details of your application to determine if the generator’s capacity is appropriately sized for your total annual consumption. Your electrical contractor should also be able to assist with system sizing. If you still have questions, contact us at netmetering@nspower.ca.

Is there a cost to sign up?

There are no application fees. However, you will be responsible for all costs incurred by us to deliver the net metering service that are beyond the standard connection costs to regular customers. Examples of cost may include line extensions, metering changes, upgrading existing lines, additional poles, etc.

How will net metering work in the case of ETS customers?

If you enter the Net Metering program on the time-of-day rate, we will measure any electricity fed to or drawn from the grid by the same time-of-day periods used for billing purposes. You will be billed for their surpluses and consumption by each time-of-day period without the transfer of surplus energy from one time-of-day period another (from one rate to another).

Will I be able to supply my own power needs during a power outage?

If you want to operate your system during a power outage, the generating system must have special transfer and isolating capabilities installed. During an outage, your generating facility must be disconnected from the distribution system to protect our crews as they work on the grid to restore power. It can be reconnected to our distribution system only after it has been restored and stabilized. Details outlining these requirements can be found in the interconnection guidelines document.

Do I need an extra disconnect dwitch to provide isolation from Nova Scotia Power's system?

Yes, for safety reasons and compliance with the Canadian Electrical Code Regulations, generation connections require the installation of an isolation switch located between the meter and the customer’s equipment. The installation of an isolation switch allows our power line technicians and other staff to work safely on our distribution system. These technical details can be found in the interconnection guidelines document.

Do I need a new meter and, if so, do I need to pay for it?

Net metering works by using a single meter capable of registering the flow of electricity in two directions, known as a bi-directional meter. This meter is approved by Measurement Canada and our standards. If your existing meter is not capable of measuring the flow of electricity in two directions, (in most cases utility meters are not bi-directional) you would be responsible for the incremental costs to install this meter. The incremental cost for the meter varies depending on the application (residential vs. commercial).

Can I connect my generating unit to the grid at a separate interconnection point from my home or business?

Yes, as long as both the generating unit and the net metering account(s) are located within the same distribution zone. Any additional costs associated with such an arrangement will be your responsibility.

Does Nova Scotia Power design or install the generating system for me?

No. While we administer this program, we do not design, engineer or install generating systems for its customers. However, there are a variety of businesses that provide these services and we recommend you consult with an electrical contractor or engineering consultant to get started.

How much money will I save?

It’s hard to say. The purchase and installation of a renewable energy generator typically requires a relatively significant investment. Net metering programs are intended to offer customers the opportunity to offset some or all of the electricity they draw from the grid rather than provide a source of revenue, so it’s up to each customer to determine whether the investment is viable. Any savings will vary based on your electricity use and the size, location, and type of your generator, among other factors.

How does net metering work on my power bill?

All net metering customers continue to pay their monthly base charge as usual, and business customers continue to pay demand charges. If you use more electricity than you generate, you still draw from the grid as needed and receive a bill for the difference at your regular rate. If you generate more electricity than you can use, these surplus kilowatt-hours (kWh) will be “banked” and applied to your next bill to offset any electricity drawn from the grid. If any surplus kilowatt-hours remain on the account at the end of a 12-month cycle, you will be paid for that energy at the same rate you pay for electricity from the grid.

Questions?

We can help as well. Send your questions to netmetering@nspower.ca.