By: Morgan Harvey

Shining the Sun on Griddy’s Solar Program

Move over wind, solar is coming to Texas. Texas has jumped to the number sixth state in the U.S. when it comes to solar production. The Solar Energy Industries Association even thinks it will move to second by 2021 as more solar farms are slated to be built in West Texas.

It used to be solar was only for the environmentally conscious since prices to install panels were so expensive. But over the last decade, costs to install solar have dropped by more than 70%. The beginning of 2019 even saw costs at their lowest levels in history – prices for residential homes dropping from $40,000 in 2010 to $18,000 today.

As more people are installing solar panels on their roofs with these cheaper prices, Texans should be looking toward wholesale electricity to get the most out of their investment.

Griddy’s Solar Program

We’ve been saying for a while that prices are cheapest when they are greenest. And now we are taking that one step further. All of our members have been able to take advantage when prices drop due to more renewable energy like solar and wind on the grid. But for our members who have solar panels, they will get an even bigger advantage – Griddy will now be crediting our members for their excess generation, helping to lower their bills!

Most people are familiar with net metering. But Griddy offers something different – something that is better for most of our members. Net metering is a specific way of crediting solar where the customer gets credited for their full fixed-rate (energy and TDU delivery) for all generation. With net metering, all that matters is the customer’s fixed rate and their net total usage over the entire month after generation has been subtracted out. It doesn’t matter when the usage or generation takes place – they always get credited their same total all-in rate for their generation. 

But at Griddy, we credit the full amount for all generation up to their usage in each 15-minute interval. Any excess generation above their usage in that 15-minute interval gets credited for energy-only. 

Here are a few simple examples of how the credits would be different between net metering and Griddy Solar:

Example 1

A customer has no usage and no generation throughout the month except for one 15 minute interval where they have 1 kWh of usage and 2 kWhs of generation. 

  • Net Metering: The customer would receive a credit for 1 kWh of net generation at their fixed rate (e.g. 10¢/kWh).
  • Griddy Solar: The member would receive credit for energy-only for 1 kWh of net generation at the real-time rate of electricity during that 15-minute interval.

Example 2

A customer has no usage and no generation throughout the month except for one 15-minute interval where they have 1 kWh of usage and another 15-minute interval where they have 2 kWhs of generation

  • Net Metering: Just like in Example 1, the customer would receive a credit for 1 kWh of net generation at their fixed rate (e.g. 10¢/kWh).
  • Griddy Solar: The member would get charged for 1 kWh of energy at the real-time price for that first 15-minute interval as well as TDU delivery charges for 1 kWh. The member would also get a credit for energy-only for 2 kWhs of generation at the real-time rate of electricity during that second 15-minute interval.

Example 3 

A customer has no usage and no generation throughout the month except for one 15-minute interval where they have 1 kWh of usage and another 15-minute interval where they have 1 kWh of generation.  

  • Net Metering: The customer will receive zero charges for this month.
  • Griddy Solar: The member would get charged for 1 kWh of energy at the real-time price for that first 15-minute interval as well as TDU delivery charges for 1 kWh. The member would also get a credit for energy-only for 1 kWhs of generation at the real-time rate of electricity during that second 15-minute interval. If the real-time price of energy was the same in those two intervals, the member would still be charged for 1 kWh of TDU delivery.

Is Griddy’s Solar Program Right For Me?

As a general rule of thumb, Griddy will be better for consumers whose solar generation is equal to or less than 70% of their total usage. For people who have a LOT of solar generation (more than 70% of their total annual usage), you might be better off with a traditional net metering plan since you’ll be getting credited energy and TDU delivery charges during times of excess generation. In comparison, with Griddy your excess generation will only give your credit for energy.

Benefits of Going Solar

The big one? There’s a lot of sun to take advantage of. Heck, it’s sunny in Texas for 237 days of the year. But you will also get:

  • 30% federal tax credit
  • Rebates from some utilities, like Oncor – Check the list here.
  • 100% property tax exemption
  • Increase the value of your home – “Each additional $1 in energy bill savings (from your solar installation) adds $20 to your home’s total value.”
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