Net metering is a service available to members who generate energy on their property from a renewable source connected to GCEA's distribution system and capable of being operated in a safe and reliable manner. Here is an example of how net metering works.
1. Solar panels transform energy from the sun into direct current (DC) electricity.
2. An inverter converts the electricity produced by the solar panels from DC to alternating current (AC) for use in your home.
3. Energy is used to power your home.
4. A bi-directional utility meter measures energy used from the electric grid and excess energy produced from your solar panels.
Colorado state law permits each member to install renewable generation on the member’s side of the meter. To qualify for the favorable billing structure provided by net metering, there are size restrictions. The generator cannot produce over 120% of the average annual consumption at the site. The law allows residential generators nameplate limited to 10 kW AC and commercial to 25 kW AC.
GCEA’s Board has allowed a less restrictive tariff. Changes approved at the February 26, 2020 board meeting allow members with multiple meters to install multiple renewable projects under the net metering tariff with size limitations applied on a per-meter rather than per-member basis. GCEA’s tariff further allows systems up to 25 kW AC for meters connected to single-phase service (most residential and small commercial accounts) and up to 50 kW AC for meters connected to three-phase service. The 120% annual consumption ceiling still applies for all accounts.
How to get started with Net-Metering
- Do your research.
- With the help of your installer, complete the net metering application. Please return the application and a $250 one-time fee via mail or drop off at the GCEA main office or our branch location in Crested Butte.
- After the system is installed, it must be inspected by the Colorado State Electrical Inspector. The inspector will provide the homeowner with a permit. Please submit this permit to GCEA via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or bring the permit by our office.
- Finally, your installer will schedule with the GCEA metering department to test the system and exchange the meter. When the meter is exchanged, the GCEA billing department will place your account on the net metering rate.