The smart meter is needed because the network is under pressure. We use WiFi everywhere and at all times, drive electrically, want as much renewable energy as possible, generate energy ourselves and want to deliver this back to the network. These technical innovations make a lot possible, but also set high demands. The smart meter gives us insight into where the network is under pressure and the network needs to be weighted. A smart meter is an electronic device that records consumption of electric energy and communicates the information to the electricity supplier for monitoring and billing. Smart meters typically record energy hourly or more frequently, and report at least daily.
Combination with a solar panel system:
Usually solar panels produce electricity at a time when you do not use any electricity yourself. That power is then supplied to the electricity network. The energy company then settles the supply with the electricity that you purchase from the network (this is called netting) and pays the same price for this for your electricity (on average of € 0.23 / £ 0.20 / CA$ 0.35 per kWh, price level 2019). This set-off scheme applies till 2020. Starting 2021, a feed-back subsidy will probably take its place. With this you earn back your solar panels in an average of 7 years. The subsidy will also apply if you already have solar panels.
You take 2,000 kWh of electricity a year from the network and you supply 2,500 kWh to the electricity grid through your solar panels.
The energy company must pay the current electricity tariff for 2,000 kWh of supplied electricity (21 cents per kWh, contract price level 2019).
It may pay a lower rate for the remaining 500 kWh (this is often referred to as the feed-in charge).
The energy company may determine the lower rate itself.
- The reimbursement is € 0.07 per kWh.
If you produce a lot of electricity, it is therefore worth comparing different companies. There are overviews on the internet, for example, search for ‘returning power and offsetting’.
In our personal situation the consumption level is about 3,800kW. Our solar panel system can produce 2,700kW max per year. So -also considering that an electric boiler will be installed to reduce the gas consumption- we will always pay for electricity, although the -now very expensive- gas consumption will decline. Electricity: 3,800 kW @ € 0,21 per kW = € 798 consumed last year (not including all fixed costs per year), and we did not deliver back to the grid. Gas: 3,304 m3 @ € 0.81 per m3 = € 2,676 consumed last year (not including all fixed costs per year). Our monthly instalment was € 323. So the year bill (not including all fixed costs) will say:
- € 0,798 electricity consumption
- € 2,676 gas consumption
- – € 3,876 monthly instalments
- – € 0,402 balance in our advantage, as it will cover the not included fixed costs.
Next year there will be an other situation:
- Electricity consumption will incline, because of the new electric boiler.
- Gas consumption however will decline.
- We will deliver back to the grid the overproduction of electricity.
With the result:
- € 1,000 electricity consumption
- € 2,000 gas consumption
- – € 0,150 back delivery from solar panels
- € 2,850 total due (not included all fixed costs per year)
- € 0,250 fixed costs
- € 3,100 total due (all revenues and costs included)
- € 0,260 monthly instalment