Maximizing the Value of Your Solar Power in Vermont

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Solar?

If you have solar power, congratulations–you are already reaping the benefits of saving on your electric bill.  But did you know you can further increase your savings with one simple step?

For Green Mountain Power customers, the step that we recommend for residential solar owners is to switch to Rate 11.

Green Mountain Power offers different billing rates to its customers whether they have solar energy or not. Each rate is meant for a different type of usage and dictates how you pay for the kilowatt-hours (kWhs) you buy from the utility. The default is Rate 1, which is a set rate of approximately 18 cents for every kWh of electricity used. 

How do you know what rate you have? It will be located on the back of your Green Mountain Power bill.

What is Rate 11?

Rate 11 is a Residential Time of Use Service available to single-family homes, individual apartments, and farms. This means that a week is broken down into “peak” and “non-peak” periods and what you are charged for kilowatt-hours (kWh) consumed is based on the time at which you use them.  Peak Hours are considered Monday through Friday for eight consecutive hours between 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm. 

During peak times, you are charged a higher than normal price, about 28 cents per kWh. A lower-priced off-peak kWh charge of 12.5 cents the rest of the time mitigates this, however.  Once you know which hours are most expensive, you can plan around that.  For example, you can program your EV Charger or Dishwasher to start running after 9pm, or only do laundry on mornings and weekends.

Therefore, Rate 11 is a great option for  the type of person who doesn’t use a lot of electricity during the day, but is home a lot on weeknights and weekends.  With solar, Rate 11 is the best option even if you are using electricity during peak times. 

Why Rate 11 Is the Better Choice if you have Solar:

When you go solar, your relationship with the utility company changes.  You are no longer simply purchasing kilowatt-hours, you are generating them.  When your solar is working, the first thing it does is provide the power for any consumption happening at a given moment.  If there is more generation that you are using, the excess is monetized and stored in your net meter bank, to be drawn on at times that your solar is not generating, e.g. at night.  

This means that for most of the peak hours, your solar will be working and taking care of your electricity consumption – you will therefore not see peak hour consumption charges even if you are using electricity then.  If you are overproducing during that time, you will have credit left over that is worth about 15.5 cents per kWh–still more valuable than the rate you will pay off-peak.

In comparison, if you have Rate 1, you are paying the set rate 24/7.  You get no benefit from lower rates during the hours that your solar is not producing, leading to a higher bill overall.

Same Sun owners Philip and Marlene Allen have been using Rate 11 for their solar-powered home for more than four years, and they have enjoyed a 20 – 40% reduction in their bill depending on the time of year. 

Rate 11 can be a great way to save money on your electric bill whether or not you have solar, but more so if you do. For questions, contact Same Sun for information about Green Mountain Power’s rates and how solar impacts your electricity bill.

141 West Street, 
Rutland, VT 05701
United States

Proudly powered by WordPress