The Truths of True Up
Our lives are saturated with so many types of contracts, warranties, and overall service expectations; all that “legalese” requires its own filing cabinet in your garage in some cases! However, there is often a “selling point” that took you over the threshold when you decided what car you wanted while at the dealership last or even selecting the best cable television provider for your home. Whether it was free maintenance for the first 20,000 miles, a unique financing option that tailored to your current situation, or the the service was stress-free, there was a propellent, a catalyst that prompted you to action.
In the world of solar, the breath in the lungs of the net energy metering body is built upon the concept of true up. I always heavily stress the importance of the true up date with all of our Peak Power Solutions representatives because this is the one day of the year our customers will go to the utility cash register and want to insure the accurate credits/dollars were applied to their account.
Anniversary dates, inceptions dates, eligibility dates; we are all familiar with these terms as to when something activated or came into effect. A true up date is very similar. It is the date when the interconnection with the utility officially commenced. With the commencement of the physical interconnection comes interconnection fees. Though not covered in this blog, these “membership” fees are an important concept we will address in the future to bring the overarching concept of net energy metering to completion.
The idea of true up can be paralleled to reconciling your energy ledger; you are taking the amount of overall consumption of kilo-watt/hours (KWh) and weighing is against the amount of power consumed from the utility and scrubbing it against the power generated from your solar system. Based on your rate schedule and the crediting system in place with your utility, a true up amount will be derived blending all these attributes. It’s important to insure you weigh out the parameters of the different rates schedules. As noted in previous Peak Power Solutions blog, the Time of use concept is commonly instituted by the utilities as a way of encouraging abbreviated energy usage during peak times of the day. If you haven’t already caught some of our earlier blogs about the motivations for solar, I suggest you give them a gander to help fuel your overall understanding and how it benefits the utility company.
The common misconception is that the true up amount will always result in the utility owing you money since you are now generating your own power. Of course the hours of day when the sun in shining will play a large part, in addition to the direct exposure of the solar rays upon your solar panels and if you have some form of energy storage in play. Remember this: a KWh returning to the grid during the peak demand hours (2 P.M. – 8 P.M.) has far more value to the utility than any other hours of the day.
On a similar note, another prominent misconception is that prospective solar system owners think they need to size their solar system to the exact number of KWh. This methodology will result in a likely oversizing of the solar system. Constructing and activating a solar system has a lot of vision casting elements built in as well. Will your lifestyle change with the addition of an electric vehicle or an add-on to you home? If so, this should be considered when sizing your system. As you inch your way toward energy liberation, I hope our blogs are giving you sound footing beneath your decision. Give Peak Power Solutions a call today; we would enjoy expanding on these and other concepts provided in our blogs.