NB Power’s net metering program provides customers the option to connect their own generation unit to NB Power’s distribution system, while still remaining connected to the system to meet their electricity demands when their generation unit cannot.
Customers may connect a renewable energy source (including alternative use, biogas, biomass, solar, small hydro or wind) with a maximum size rating of 100 kW to NB Power’s distribution system.
A net meter provides readings for both the customer’s electricity consumption from NB Power and the excess electricity the customer sends back to NB Power’s distribution system. NB Power bills for the difference or ‘net’ amount of electricity used.
What renewable energy technologies are acceptable for the net metering program?
Renewable energy technologies must be aligned with government regulations. Solar and wind among others are accepted.
How can net metering help reduce my NB Power bill?
Net metering may help reduce your NB Power bill since the output of your generation unit is used to offset your electricity consumption. You will be billed for the difference between the electricity NB Power delivers to you and the electricity your generation unit produces over the billing period. This is the “net amount” of electricity. You will always pay the monthly service charge and rental charges (if applicable) and HST must be applied to the total amount of electricity delivered.
Can I sell NB Power the extra electricity I produce?
Net metering is not intended for the sale of excess electricity back to NB Power. Any excess electricity not used during the current billing period will appear as a credit and is carried forward. All credits can be carried forward and used up month to month until March 31st each year when your balance resets to zero.
Will I pay commercial or residential rates for net-metered installations?
The rate for net-metered participants will be the same rate that would be applied if you were a regular commercial or residential customer.
How much money will I save by using the net metering program?
Given the size differences and other variables associated with many renewable energy technologies, it would be impossible for NB Power to predict how much electricity a system will produce over a given period of time and how much the production will cost.
It can be costly to purchase and install renewable energy units; therefore we highly recommend that you research the costs of the renewable energy source you are interested in to determine the feasibility of connecting the unit to NB Power’s distribution system. Since any remaining credits are zeroed out on March 31st, it’s important to size the generation capacity accordingly.
How does NB Power determine what is the nameplate capacity?
NB Power looks at the max capacity at the AC interconnection. For solar installations, this is the maximum aggregate capacity of the inverters used in the application. For other types of generation, NB Power may consider the nameplate capacity of the generator if it generates AC electricity.
I have more than one meter/account. Can the excess electricity from my generation unit be used to offset more than one meter/account?
The current Program Terms and Conditions only allow registered farms to offset more than one metering point per power generation source. There are specific Terms and Conditions for farm-related applications.
I have a farm and want to offset more than one account. Can I install generation at any metering point?
NB Power and the customer will need to mutually agree on the location where the generation unit will be installed and it will be approved on a case by case basis.
What if I rent the location and the landlord allows me to install a generator?
We do have special rules that apply to tenants. The tenant and the facility owner (landlord) are mutually responsible to ensure the generator meets all program requirements. There is a special application process for tenants.
What do I need to do to enroll in net metering?
It is recommended that you first research the system you want to install. All equipment requires CSA or other recognized certification. You will require a licensed electrician to carry out the electrical work.
You will then need to apply to NB Power for approval. All applications must be accompanied by the required documentation. Prior to installation of the bi-directional meter, a licensed electrician will need to make a wiring permit application. Approval is also required from NB Public Safety, Technical Inspection Services by way of physical inspection on site.
What kind of meter will I need to monitor my net consumption through net metering?
You will require a bi-directional meter, which measures incoming electricity on one register and outgoing electricity on the other. NB Power will replace the meter. You will be responsible to pay a Service Charge Fee. The fee can be found in our Rates, Schedules and Policies Manual.
Can I connect generation on the NB Power side of the meter?
The generator is required to be installed on the customer side of the utility meter. Connection on the utility side of the meter is not permitted.
Are there any extra NB Power costs associated with net metering?
How often will I be billed and for what billing period?
You will be billed monthly for a period of 28 – 33 days, similar to your existing billing period.
I currently receive an electricity bill from NB Power. Will I see any changes on my monthly invoice?
Yes, in order to show the actual electricity use and the net electricity use, there will be slight changes to your monthly invoice. In addition, a separate monthly statement providing further details will be sent by email or regular mail.
How is HST applied on the bill under the Net Metering Program?
NB Power is legislated to charge HST on the total amount of electricity delivered and not the net amount of electricity billed. The separate monthly statement will provide the HST calculations.
I am currently on NB Power’s Equalized Payment Plan. Will I be able to continue with it?
This service is not available to net metering customers.
Can I supply my own power needs with my generation unit if NB Power has a power outage?
A grid-dependent inverter approved for net metering cannot operate without the presence of the electric utility – it automatically shuts down during power outages. If you wish to operate your generation unit during an NB Power outage, your generation unit must have special transfer and isolating capabilities installed. During an outage, your unit must be disconnected from the NB Power distribution system to ensure the safety of NB Power’s crews who are working to repair the disruption.
How do I apply for NB Power's Net Metering program?
To apply for net metering, fill out the online application, attach your documents and submit your application. Our team aims to provide feedback within 10 business days.
Do I have to sign a contract for net metering with NB Power?
There are special Terms and Conditions for the customer to acknowledge, understand and abide by during their participation in the program. The customer agrees to these Terms and Conditions by submitting an application.
When will my generation unit be able to be connected to the NB Power distribution system?
Following the approval of your application form, NB Power will also require:
an electrical wiring permit from your electrician
inspection and approval by Technical Inspection Services (electrical inspector)
signature of the Net Metering Terms and Conditions form
Once the above requirements have been met, arrangements will be made to install your net meter.
What happens to any remaining kilowatt hour energy credits if you move or close the account?
If you move to another location under the same name which is served by NB Power, any remaining energy credits will be transferred to the new account. The remaining energy credits that are transferred shall be subject to the same Terms and Conditions as if they were part of the Net Metering Program.
If you move to a location not served by NB Power, or the new location will be under a different customer name, the energy credits are zeroed out with no compensation.
What needs do happen if I move and the new owner/tenant wants to start Net Metering?
If you are moving, you are responsible to disable the generator when you leave. NB Power can disconnect the service if a grid tied generator is operating without an owner enrolled in the Net Metering Program.
The new owner will need a copy of all your documentation related to the generator installation. This is to help them make the application for Net Metering a speedier process for them.
Whom do I contact for more information about NB Power’s Net Metering program?
Solar panels can be purchased from solar system installers, electrical contractors or online stores.
Who can install solar panels?
A solar installation needs to be approved by the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety, Technical Inspection Services. They will work with a Licensed Electrical Contractor to ensure the system is safe and meets all required regulations, codes, and safety standards.
Where can I find a list of installers?
You should ask your preferred electrical contractor on who they would suggest. As they’re in this business, they may know of someone knowledgeable. There are solar installers in most areas of New-Brunswick. An internet search should be able to help.
How would you recommend I pick an installer?
You should get more than one quote and ask about options. Asking for options may present some opportunities that may be attractive to you.
Does NB Power have to approve the system?
All grid tied systems need to meet the Technical Specifications for Net Metered Generation. This is mainly to ensure safe and reliable electricity is supplied to our system and ensure the safety of our working line personnel. If your system will be an integral part of your home, then yes, NB Power must approve the installation.
Does NB Power buy the surplus energy I will produce?
NB Power will credit excess energy as per the Net Metering Terms and conditions. The Terms and Conditions presently stipulate that excess energy is credited towards future use. Once a year, on March 31st a reconciliation exercise is completed. Any remaining credits are zeroed out. NB Power currently doesn’t purchase the excess energy. Therefore it’s important to size the system appropriately.
Does NB Power provide incentives for customers wanting to buy a system?
NB Power’s Energy Efficiency Services often have incentive programs that include renewable generation. Visit saveenergynb.ca for more information on current offerings.
How much will a solar system generate?
Typical installations will produce about 1150 kWh/yr for each 1000 watts installed
How much will a wind system generate?
Wind generators need to be properly sited. Even if you feel there may be enough wind, it may not be enough to be a successful project. There are some happy customers with wind generators, some others have been disappointed.
How much does a system cost?
A typical 5 kW rooftop solar system can be purchased and installed for about $17,000. If the plan is to add batteries or other options, the systems cost will increase.
Other sources like wind or small hydro are not that common so we don’t have a cost estimate for these.