Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Reading Your Net Meter from FirstEnergy (MonPower and Potomac Edison Customer Generators)

The bi-directional meter that I see most often used by FirstEnergy in West Virginia and Maryland is pictured below.  These meters were issued beginning in 2011 ("New Net Meters for First Energy Customers").  The meter rotates through three screens coded 04, 40, 01.  The meter also has a dial emulator which is a series of digital blocks and an arrow which march to the right or left to indicate whether power is being pushed out to the utility or pulled in to the residence.

This photo series is from June 26, 2013 @ 5:30PM.  The dial emulator is pointing to the left which means that our solar modules are pushing power back to FirstEnergy. 

Code 01 = The "Net" kWh that I am billed for

 Code 04 = The kWh pulled from the utility

Code 40 = The kWh that has pushed back to the utility

This style meter makes it easy for meter technician and customer alike to see the exchange of kWh.

Code 04 - Code 40 = Code 01
or, in our example here....
4786 kWh - 2006 kWh = 2779 kWh

Code 01 is really the only  number used for determining how much you owe.  If the value is greater than the prior month then you owe money.  Likewise, if the number is smaller than the previous month you have gained credits and you only owe for the base charge.

It's important to note that the kWh pushed back to the utility (Code 40) is not synonymous with the total power produced by our solar PV system.  Some of the power that we produce is gobbled up immediately in our house - as soon as it is generated, before it even gets to the utility meter..  The leftover solar generation (the excess) is what gets pushed back to the utility.