SunPower by Eco Solar can help you understand and navigate the new solar energy requirements from Hawaiian Electric.
What is grid supply and how is it different from net metering?
On October 12, 2015 Hawaiian Electric (HECO) ended the net metering program and replaced it with a “grid supply” program. With net metering, all of the excess energy generated by your solar energy system was tracked and given back to you in the form of a credit against your usage. Under grid supply, HECO buys the excess power you generate during the day for a set rate.
What is the bottom line on this change?
Under both programs, homeowners investing in solar will rack up tens of thousands of dollars in savings over the lifetime of their system. With either scenario, generous state and federal tax credits cover approximately half of the costs of installation. The result is that within a few years the system will pay for itself. When you reach that tipping point, all of the excess energy generated afterward is free electricity, and your savings start to stack up.
Does grid supply affect the sizing of my system?
No. The best way to maximize your savings is to “right-size” the system. Our designers will evaluate your requirements and plan a system that produces energy in an amount that is roughly equal to your usage. Oversizing a system won’t benefit you as the amount of energy that HECO will buy back is based on your consumption.
How much money will I save with grid supply?
It depends on your lifestyle and energy usage patterns. The two most common patterns can be described as “stay at home” or “go to work”. “Stay at home” families are using most of their electricity during daylight hours. This pattern minimizes the amount of energy you draw from the grid, providing above-average savings. For families in the “go to work” category, meaning you are mostly away from home during daytime hours, your savings will still be significant. For both types of customers, there are opportunities to enhance your savings by shifting certain activities to different times of the day.
What can I do to maximize my savings under grid supply?
The key is to understand when and how you use your energy. SunPower by Eco Solar can provide you with an optional energy consumption monitoring system that will help you identify and adjust your patterns of usage. Understanding and adapting your usage can lead to thousands of dollars in additional savings over the lifetime of your system.
Is grid supply the last chance to benefit from solar?
Moving into 2016, it’s the best way to start down the road of renewable and sustainable energy for your home or business. Battery storage solutions are on the horizon, and will ultimately give you more flexibility and opportunities for savings. SunPower by Eco Solar can design your system to be ready for this transition.