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solar energy - net metering

What Is Net Metering?

Understanding Net Meter Digital Displays Net metering is a provision that allows consumers who install renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, farm waste, and micro cogeneration systems, to reduce their electric bills by using less electricity from the grid. It also provides the customer with the potential to receive energy credits for electricity exported to the grid.

Net meters measure the balance of energy imported and exported between the customer and the grid. Excess electricity produced by the renewable energy system, beyond what is consumed by the customer, can flow into the utility grid and is registered as a credit through the net meter. If the customer’s consumption of electricity exceeds what is generated by the energy system, the meter will register the ‘net’ amount of electricity that has been supplied from the grid. If you have more questions about how net metering works, there are additional resources for residential customers, commercial customers, and guidance for how Con Edison billing works with net metering.

Con Edison installs digital electric meters for net metering customers that are programmed to calculate the sum or net of the energy delivered to the customer. Therefore, you will not see the traditional dial on the meter indicating the direction of energy.

Unlike standard electric meters that are installed for non-net metering customers, these electric meters have a number of digital displays that cycle every few seconds on the meter screen. Here are explanations for each of these displays.

Understanding Net Meter Digital Displays

Meter Number

Program Number - This display shows the meter type that is associated with the net metering customer's account. The type is indicated by the ‘60’ code. The arrows on the bottom left of the display screen indicate the direction in which the electricity is flowing from the meter. When the blocks and arrow are moving to the left, excess energy that is generated by the customer is being exported to the electric grid. When the blocks and arrow are moving to the right, energy is being imported into the customer's home from the electric grid.


Billing Register

Billing Register - This screen (beginning with "05") displays the total kWh usage (net consumption and generation) registered by the meter. This is calculated within the meter, as excess kWh generated by the customer and exported to the electric grid is subtracted from the kWh that is imported to the customer from the electric grid. This number is what is used to bill or credit customers.

Segment Screen

Segment Screen - This screen (beginning with "888") displays every LCD segment that can possibly show up on the meter screen. Any missing segment is an indication that the meter is not properly displaying numbers, and needs to be changed. A segment screen check is conducted by our meter readers at every meter read.


Details about Con Edison's net metering tariff can be found in Service Classification Rider R. Additionally, the New York State Public Service Commission has developed uniform interconnection requirements  for net metered systems. To facilitate interconnection we recommend using type-tested inverters.

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