Under net-metering, will I be credited for power at the same rate the utility charges me for it?

This all depends on the utility. All utilities have different billing structures. In most cases there is a small difference. One example is that they will charge you HST but will not credit it back if you do not have an HST number which most home owners do not have.

For the portion of the power you use as you generate it, you will save 100% of the cost of that power.

Background on Net Metering vs. MicroFIT:

In Ontario, the microFIT (Micro Feed-in Tariff) program and net-metering are two distinct mechanisms designed for small-scale renewable energy projects, including solar power.

The microFIT program, part of Ontario’s broader Green Energy Act, allowed homeowners, businesses, and other entities to generate renewable energy and sell it back to the grid at a guaranteed price for a set term.

On the other hand, net-metering allows participants to generate their electricity to offset their consumption, with the excess energy being sent to the grid in exchange for credits against their energy costs.

Here are the top four questions we get asked about MicroFit and Net-metering

  1. Two Different Solar Programs: In Ontario, you can use solar panels on your property in two ways. One is called microFIT, where you make electricity and sell it back to the electricity company for a set price. The other is net-metering, where any extra electricity you make can lower your electricity bill.
  2. Can You Have Both MicroFit and Netmetering? Yes, but there are rules. First, you need two separate solar setups: one for selling electricity (microFIT) and the other for saving on your electricity bill (net-metering). Also, each electricity company in Ontario has its own rules about how you can do this.
  3. What Happened to microFIT? The microFIT program stopped taking new people in 2017, so now most folks look at net-metering if they want to start with solar power. If you’re buying a house that already has microFIT, that’s different; it keeps going until the contract ends.
  4. Talking Taxes and Money: With microFIT, you were kind of like a tiny electricity company, so there were tax things to think about, like HST. With net-metering, it’s more about using the electricity yourself, so the tax situation is simpler. But, with both, you might get charged tax (like HST) in ways you didn’t expect.

 So, while you technically can have a microFIT system and a net-metering setup on your property, it depends greatly on your local electricity company’s rules. There are some extra steps and costs to consider, especially if you’re not familiar with business taxes. If you’re interested in doing something like this, talking to the electricity company and maybe a tax expert would be a good idea to get all the details straight.

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