Is Virtual net metering the future of electricity grids?


Virtual net metering is the ability to ‘tag’ excess electricity produced by your solar panels and to assign that electricity to another entity. It means you don’t have to sell that electricity to the electric utility for a low price, but you can choose and directly sell to another grid connected user.

This is relatively new in the world of electric utilities, but it appears to be a necessary change in their operating basis.

“We wrote a letter to Essential Energy, and we said the way we see it you have a death spiral on your economic model, you are increasingly expensive, and as solar and battery storage costs come down more and more people might leave the grid,” Richardson told a solar energy forum on the weekend. And that means rising prices for those remain and more people leaving the grid.

“What we want to do is use the poles and wires, so you can keep the customers, although you are going to have to charge them far less. They actually wrote back and agreed with economic business model, and invited us to come down to Sydney and talk.”

There is now a pilot going on in Australia. Here is an article reporting on it:

Byron shire to be first in Australia to pilot virtual net metering

Byron shire is to become the first council in Australia to trial “virtual net metering” in what could presage a dramatic change in the way electricity is produced, but also in the role that networks play in the distribution of that electricity.

Virtual net metering – also known as peer-to-peer trading – allows the excess production from the solar array of one building to be credited against the consumption of another building…