Monday, April 19, 2010

Does the meter run in reverse? No!

19 April : I wondered a couple of days ago if my meter would 'go in reverse' if you have a good day of photovoltaic generation. For the weekend on a good day, I took readings every couple of hours. Mine doesn't, it remains static during the day and only moves forward only if we do some ironing or use the kettle a lot, or the heating has to be on. After sunset, it rolls along as a normal one would. Chris Brook of EvoEnergy has provided me with an answer:

"Whether your meter works in reverse depends on the type of meter installed. Old style mechanical meters will run in reverse and people with these will get an extra, though unintended, financial benefit. If you have a more modern electronic meter this will accurately record the units of electricity you import from the grid. It will be stationary if the amount of energy you are producing exceeds your current demand. Your [OfGem] generation meter will tell you accurately how much you have produced. In terms of what you export, this will only be measured accurately if your electricity supplier installs an import/export meter. The only energy provider currently doing this is Scottish and Southern Electricity. Other major providers intend to estimate how much you have exported based on the amount generated. As far as we know most are going with a generous 50/50 estimate.

Energy you produce will flow to its nearest point of use. If there is demand within your home this will be nearest. If you produce more than you currently demand the excess will flow to its nearest point of use via your mains electricity cable. In all likelihood there will be demand from one of your neighbours and this is where the electricity will be used. The electricity flows via the grid to your neighbours."

Obsolete meters with the revolving disk used to go backwards, but not the modern digital meter - and for a PV producer, we have to have a modern meter.

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