Solar energy panels

Net Metering

Net metering allows you to reduce your monthly electricity costs by generating your own electricity from a renewable energy source.

Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) generate electricity from renewable energy sources which include wind, water, solar and agricultural biomass. Energy storage systems can be combined with RET generation to form a net metering installation. Energy Storage on its own does not qualify for the net metering program.

Before you start construction or purchase equipment for a RET, contact us to ensure your premise is eligible for net metering.

How is the electricity that I generate from a renewable energy source(s) accounted for on my electricity bill?

The electricity you produce is first used to meet the needs of your home or business. You will receive a non-cash credit for any kilowatt hours you generate and do not use, that are transmitted back to the electricity grid. This credit will appear on your electricity bill as a line item noted as ‘Adjustment for net metering’. This credit cannot be redeemed for cash or as payment for other services.

The dollar value of the kilowatt hours (kWhs) that you generate in a billing period is based on variable kWh rates applicable at the time of generation. The variable kWh rates are also dependent on the account classification. This dollar value becomes a credit that is applied towards the electricity usage (kWh) calculated on your bill (and not the fixed charges or, if applicable, demand charges). As a net metered customer you will continue to be billed for any electricity you use from the electricity grid, as well as for all fixed charges and taxes.

As a Regulated Price Plan (RPP) net metering customer, which includes most residential and business customers with a demand of less than 50 KW, you will be switched from Time-of-Use (TOU) rates to tiered rates for both kWhs generated and used from the grid. Information on tiered rates is available on the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) website under electricity rates.

Refer to Ontario Regulation 541 (O.Reg. 541) for more information.

What do I have to do to become a Hydro Ottawa net metering customer?

We try and make it easy and quick to become a net metering customer. When you apply, we first check to make sure there is still electricity distribution capacity to connect a RET in your area.

Next, your standard meter will need to be replaced with a bi-directional meter. A bi-directional meter measures how much electricity was delivered to your home or business from the electricity grid, and how much electricity was fed back into the electricity grid. This meter does not measure the amount of generation your RET will produce, only the amount that was not consumed by your home or business.  Conversely, this also means Hydro Ottawa only knows the amount of electricity consumed by your home or business that was delivered from the electricity grid, and not the total amount of electricity that was used, some of which may have come from your generation. If you need to know how much your RET generated, you will need to add a separate meter.

Hydro Ottawa will provide you with the estimated cost (service layout quote) to replace your current meter with a bi-directional meter and for any other work required to safely connect your RET to the electricity grid. If you wish to proceed with the connection, you will need to provide payment to Hydro Ottawa for the services outlined in the service layout quote and then proceed with the next steps as outlined in your service layout quote.

Your ‘service entrance’ may also need to be upgraded if it doesn’t pass the electrical safety and servicing standards specified in our Conditions of Service.

What if I have a contract with a retailer?

Customers who have a contract with a licensed retailer should contact their retailer prior to making any arrangements. Agreement from the licensed retailer is required prior to any net-metering set-up.

What is the delivery charge for the electricity that I generate? Is it fixed or variable?

You can find information about delivery charges on our Residential Rates and Conditions page and our Business Rates and Conditions page.

Hydro Ottawa’s distribution rates are currently fixed and variable. Residential distribution rates are transitioning to a fully fixed charge by January 1, 2020. This is in accordance with the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) Residential Rate Change policy.

Can the delivery charge be deducted from the net metering credit? How often is the amount charged?

Net metering credits can only be applied to the portion of the bill subject to a per-kilowatt-hour charge and not the fixed or demand (per kW) line items.

Please refer to the provincial legislation for more information.

Are there any other charges associated with the net metering program?

Yes. Other charges include an account setup charge, a monthly service charge and, in some circumstances, an administration charge.

Other charges that may apply include:

  • A Connection Impact Assessment (CIA) will need to be completed for a RET with generation greater than 10 kW. Please refer to Form B and the Fee Schedule.
  • A monitoring and control box will be required for a RET with generation with a nameplate capacity greater than 50 kW.
  • A Standby Charge may be required for a business with RET with generation greater than 500 KW. Please refer to Hydro Ottawa’s Conditions of Service.

Does the generation credit expire?

The accumulated credit must be used within 12 months. Once credits have accumulated for 12 consecutive months, all credits expire. Any credits used from a previous month will show on your bill as a line item labelled ‘Net Generation carried forward’. Please refer to the legislation for more information.

Are there any special requirements that may prevent me from participating in the net metering program?

Yes, there may be circumstances that could limit you from connecting your RET and generating electricity.

These include:

  • The size of your service entrance;
  • The level of available transformer capacity in your area;
  • The capacity or performance constraints on the feeder branch between your RET and the distribution station and transmission system that serves your home or business;
  • Lack of evidence that the electricity produced is from a RET;
  • Non-compliance with the Net Metering Regulation.
  • Siting restrictions, which came into force July 1, 2018.

How do I apply to the net metering program?

Simply submit a request online using our service request form to apply to the program.