Friday, November 16, 2012

Now I Must Buy an Expensive New Meter or No More SRECS!

Bad news for me and a lot of solar generators in the Garden State.  Sometimes it's hard not to flip a giant bird at the ruling bodies when these decisions come down.

It seems that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is going to require that solar generators like me will need to install a revenue grade production meter (RGM) in order to accumulate SRECs.  And nobody will be grandfathered in.  It's conceivable that my current meter meets that requirement, but I just can't imagine that I have that kind of luck.  I've never had it before.

An RGM is defined as a meter that meets the ANSI C12.1-2008 standard of +/-2% accuracy.  More importantly, it will cost six or seven hundred bucks, all of which would come right out of my pocket.  This pretty much sucks.  I consider it a violation of the contract/agreement that I entered into when I signed up for this whole thing.  But what I think isn't going to matter, of course.

I don't know when this goes into effect.  For all I know it could be immediate.

If this were a year or two ago, the decision would be a no-brainer.  In order to generate a dozen SRECs a year, each of which sold for over $600, would it have been worth it to incur a one-time cost of $600?  Duh.

Now, however, it isn't so easy a call.  SRECs aren't worth the electrons they're printed on.  At the current SREC price, it'll take a year of SREC generation just to cover the cost of the new meter (and regular followers of this blog now that I burned several years off the end of my life convincing PSE&G to install the meter I now have had since July).

It's all so stupid.  The state has failed to do what's necessary to preserve the value of SRECs, which have thus dropped through the floor and are practically worthless.  Now they're exponentially jacking up the price of generating them.    

I hate to be one of those people who goes ballistic about government shortsightedness anytime anything doesn't go their way, but if the shoe fits...


Steve S. said...

I couldn't agree more with this post. I'm fortunate enough that my installer actually had installed a meter on the generation side. They did this without me knowing this, and perhaps with the knowledge that this was going to happen...either way, I'm glad they did, but I feel for.people like you Dave. There is no reason you shouldn't be grandfathered in. This state never ceases to amaze me. Good luck to you Dave!

Steve S. said...

Oh, and according to this post:

The deadline is the end of this month.

Again, good luck...

Jeff said...

I think you're going to be fine with your meter. I got my system a year ago... and got a "revenue grade" meter even back then. Your's looks exactly like what I have. It flicks back and forth between electrity generated and used. The worst appears over for you. It's kinda nuts they didn't give you the new meter in the first place. They wouldn't even let me turn the system on until my old meter was taken off, and the new one installed.

daveconifer said...

Thanks, Jeff and Steve.