Types of Distributed Energy Resources Programs

Four options exist for connecting energy sources like generators and batteries into your home or business electrical system:

This energy option should only be used when the local grid electricity supply is temporarily unavailable. It is a quick and convenient way to ensure that your life stays uninterrupted when you need it most. While there are many different options for choosing the generator that is right for you, we encourage you to do your research first, so that you are best prepared before an emergency occurs. For more information on the different types of generators, you can read our blog on the topic.

For further information on connecting your generator, you can refer to Hydro Ottawa standard ECG0002 Technical Guideline For Customer Owned Standby Generation.

Generators that have the ability to supply electricity into the utility grid shall comply with the requirements of ECG0006: Embedded Generation Connection Guideline.

Net metering allows you to reduce your monthly electricity costs by generating your own electricity from a renewable energy source, instead of using Hydro Ottawa’s supply.

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

While net metering allows you to reduce your monthly costs by generating your own electricity, it also benefits you in that any extra energy that you produce and don’t use is sent back to the grid for a non-cash credit. This credit will appear on your electricity bill as a line item noted as ‘Generation Credit Balance’. This credit cannot be redeemed for cash or as payment for other services.

Other bill line items related to generation account are also reflected on net metering bills. For a detailed example, please view Hydro Ottawa’s net metering sample bill.

Described below are two net metering options and information to consider if you are already signed up with an electricity retailer, plus general information applicable to any net metering project.

Self net metering

If you’ve opted for net metering where the generator is self-owned, this is called “self-net metering”. You will receive a non-cash credit for any kilowatt hours of energy that you generate but do not use, that are then exported back into the local electricity grid. This credit will appear on your electricity bill as a line item noted as ‘Generation Credit Balance’. This credit cannot be redeemed for cash or as payment for other services and any credit remaining after 12 months of its occurrence expires.

Currently, net metering customers fall under the tiered rate structure under the Ontario Energy Board Regulated Price Plan.

Third party net metering

Third party net metering allows a customer to participate in net metering while not owning or operating the renewable generation facility.  Similarly to self net metering, tiered rates apply and a credit is provided for electricity exported to the utility grid. The credit cannot be redeemed for cash or as payment for other services and any credit remaining after 12 months of its occurrence expires.

Regulatory amendments that came into effect July 1, 2022, clarify that customers can access third party ownership arrangements like leasing, renting, financing and power purchase agreements for the provision of renewable generation equipment or to purchase renewable electricity for the purposes of net metering.

These changes also introduced consumer protection measures for electricity retailing and other third party net metering ownership arrangements. To assist customers in making an informed decision, the Ontario Energy Board released Consumer-Facing Materials and Retailer Forms related to third party net metering.

Net metering and retailer contract

If you have a contract with a licensed electricity retailer, please contact your retailer prior to making any arrangements with Hydro Ottawa to ensure your agreement allows for net metering. Confirmation from your retailer is required prior to any net metering installations.

If you are an existing net metering customer and would like to enroll with an electricity retailer, confirmation from a licensed retailer is required in order to remain a net metering customer with Hydro Ottawa.

Program requirements: 

  1. The energy source must be renewable as defined in Hydro Ottawa’s Conditions of Service.
  2. There must be capacity availability in the utility grid to host the proposed project.
  3. Must pass Hydro Ottawa assessment and approvals.
  4. Must pass Ontario Electrical Safety Authority requirements.

References:

The load displacement program is for customers who produce electricity for solely self-consumption purposes at all times; no electricity will be exported back to the utility grid. All load displacement DERs with an installed capacity of 500 kilowatts (kW) or greater must have a specific meter installed to measure the DER’s electricity production.

While the load displacement connection request may be easier to make, the same connection process as Hydro Ottawa’s net metering program applies.

Requirements:

  1. Any energy source may be used.
  2. There must be capacity availability in the utility grid to host the proposed project.
  3. Must pass Hydro Ottawa assessment and approvals.
  4. Must pass Ontario Electrical Safety Authority requirements.

References:

For more information about charges, please read the Load displacement standby charge section under Charges and Payment Process.

If your intention is to pass all generated electricity into the utility grid with no self-consumption, then you would be seeking a stand alone DER. The purpose of this would be to provide the grid with electricity and to receive compensation in return. The process to follow is the same as with net metering, though a dedicated electrical service will be needed and thus there will be more requirements for your metering, monitoring, control and protection.

Requirements:

  1. Any energy source may be used
  2. There must be capacity availability in the utility grid to host the proposed project.
  3. Must pass Hydro Ottawa assessment and approvals.
  4. Must obtain a generator license from the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and potentially a contract with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)
  5. Must pass Ontario Electrical Safety Authority requirements.
  6. HST registration - check Canada Revenue Agency guidelines
  7. Must pass City of Ottawa requirements (zoning, building, by-law, etc.)

References:

 

NOTE: The fundamental references and requirements are stated here. Hydro Ottawa will specify its detailed requirements during the project assessment process; however, it is the responsibility of the customer to understand and comply with any requirements from other agencies, most of whom are listed under the “References” section.

Customers with permanently-connected DER equipment (including for emergency back-up) must notify Hydro Ottawa in writing with details that include the intended use, location and name-plate capacity output of the equipment. For additional details, you can refer to ECG0006: Embedded Generation Connection Guideline.
 

Connection process & application forms  >

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