If you are an environmentally-minded consumer, taking advantage of Egyptian Electric’s Interconnection & New Metering Program just might be what you have been waiting for to participate in renewable energy. Concern for the environment and increased cost of energy has led some members to consider installing generation equipment to replace all or some of the electricity provided by their energy supplier. Egyptian Electric Cooperative encourages member generation of electricity (sometimes called distributed generation) when it can be done in a safe, economical and environmentally friendly manner. We voluntarily contributes to the Illinois Renewable Energy Resources and Coal Technology Development Assistance program, which makes Egyptian Electric members eligible for rebate funds from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) for residential solar and wind energy systems, when available.
Initial Requirements for Safety
The interconnection of distributed generation with the electric grid continues to pose safety and reliability risks, both for Egyptian Electric employees and the general public. These distributed generation policies are not a complete description or listing of all laws, ordinances, rules or regulations, nor or they intended to be an installation or safety manual. The member, or contractor on behalf of the member, requesting to interconnect a distributed generation facility to the Cooperative’s electric system, is responsible for and must follow:
- All provisions of the policies and agreements,
- The Cooperative’s rules and regulations for electric service,
- The Cooperative’s line extension policy,
- The policies and procedures of the Cooperative’s power supplier when applicable,
- The current IEEE 1547 Standard Guide for Distributed Generation Interconnection,
- All applicable IEEE standards, ANSI standards, National Electric Code and/or National Electric Safety Code standards.
First Steps for Installation
Before beginning the installation of a distributed generation system, during the planning stages, the member and/or the member’s installer, should contact our Engineering Department, as a prerequisite.
Preliminary work to be completed, BEFORE construction starts and things to know:
• Review the two EECA policies, Policy 509 – Interconnection Policy (attached is the Application for Operation of Member-Owned Generation) and Policy 515 – Net Metering Policy, and keep for your records. Note, Policy 515 allows members to generate alternative energy on an annual basis to offset their purchases of energy from the Cooperative, up to a 40 kW system. It does not provide for reimbursement for energy produced above consumption. Any credits for excess generation at the end of the annual period chosen will expire.
• Complete, or have you contractor complete on your behalf, to the best of your knowledge the Application for Operation of Member-Owned Generation, and return the original and signed copy for interconnects with name plated capacity less than 40 kW. If 40 kW and over, please contact us first and we will assist you in the agreement necessary with the Southern Illinois Power Cooperative (SIPC). If contractor is installing separate systems, an application for each system needs to be completed regardless of size.
• Also submit Equipment Specifications, for EECA reference.
• Complete and return the original Agreement for Interconnection (and Parallel Operation of Distributed Generation). Need to fill out Page 6: Member information at top and important to choose an Annual Period of April or October. April is considered optimal for solar interconnections, and October for wind turbine interconnects. Sign Member Name (Owner & date) on Page 7.
• Submit the proposed One-line diagram from your contractor (see sample One-Line Diagram), to include the existing metering point for your interconnect system. The drawing should include the metering point(s), disconnect(s), panel box(es), inverter(s), sub-meter location, and denote any battery back-ups. The Engineer Technicians may check out the site/existing service set-up before construction starts.
• EECA requires $1,000,000 liability insurance, indefinitely, to be in effect, with proof from your insurance provider, before we will interconnect on your property.
• A 100A meter base and cover plate, can be picked up from either of our offices, Murphysboro or Steeleville, to be provided to, at no cost, and should be installed by the contractor as the sub-meter box in accordance with the EECA Sample One-line Diagram form and requirements. The sub-meter that will be installed is for EECA informational purposes only, and is not connected to our billing software, nor will be used for billing purposes.
NOTE: Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association reserves the right, at any time, to amend any part of this guideline/policy including, without limitation, the type, amount or application of any Distribution and Transmission Charges, penalties or rebates set out in this guideline. This guideline is intended as a summary only and is not intended to be a statement of Egyptian Electric’s rights and obligations in relation to distributed generation.
Completion of Install
Please allow 1-2 weeks from the time your contractor has completed the system installation, and notified EECA, for the engineering and metering department to coordinate and set-up the inspection. After inspection and approval, the meters will be installed. Application will not be approved, inspection and meters not scheduled to be installed/exchanged unless the following is completed:
• A visible lockable A/C disconnect must have been installed as required. Breakers at the metering point location do not constitute as the “visible, lockable disconnect” that is required.
• A copy of the $1,000,000 liability insurance, with policy proof from your insurance provider, submitted by yourself or your insurance agent. To avoid having to submit your renewal annually, have your insurance provider automatically send us the renewal notice at renewal. (See section 11 of the Agreement).
• The original completed and signed Agreement for Interconnection and Parallel Operation of Distributed Generation must be received with the appropriate month April or October, as to when your annual net-metering true-up reset month will be. If not selected, April will be selected as the default. A final copy will be given to you, with the EECA representative’s signature, for your records. A final line diagram should be submitted, only if changes were made.
• Note, the day your net meter is installed, your billing cycle will change to cycle 3 billing. It will be read on the 15-17th of the month, and due on the 5th of the following month. Your first bill after the meter exchange will likely be longer or shorter, larger or smaller, than the nominal 28-32 day period.
How to Read Your Bill and Understand Your Net Meter
The bidirectional meter, also called the net meter, will be your main meter. It will not only be reading the usage in your home, like now, but reads at any given moment the difference in usage (supplied) vs. production (surplus). For instance, if you are have only a 100W light bulb on in your home, and your solar system is producing 30W at that moment, the meter will reflect 100W30W=70W (net) usage at that instant. If nothing is on in your home, it would pass the 30W production through to the meter at that moment. It does not show you what you used, and what you produced on the meter, but will be shown on your monthly bill. Again, the sub-meter is for us to be able to monitor the production of the system, and is not incorporated to your bill. It strictly reads what the system is moving from the inverter to your panel.
According to Policy 515, you will accumulate “banked kWhs” and will add up when your “surplus,” or production, is more than your “supplied, or used kWhs. When your “surplus” in one month is more than your “supplied” you will show a negative “net,” and then will be “banked” kWhs (see Banked Bill Example, below).
If your “banked” kWhs are unused by your reset month, they will be lost. Also, when your bill shows a zero for kWh’s billed, your bill will only be for the Service Availability Charge that month (see Minimum Bill Example, below).