Production Meter Requirements for Solar Projects (SRECs)
Production Meter Rule Requirement
All solar energy systems eligible to earn SRECs must report system production based upon readings from a revenue-grade meter that meets the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard C12.1-2008. This meter is in addition to the electric meter installed by the local utility to measure the home or business’ electric consumption.
On May 1, 2012, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) re-adopted Chapter 8 rules with amendments that became effective on June 4, 2012. In re-adopting N.J.A.C. 14:8-2.9(c), the Board eliminated the use of production estimates for systems with a capacity of less than 10 kW. The revenue-grade meter must be installed by November 30, 2012. Following that date, SRECs will be issued to systems based only upon readings obtained from a revenue-grade meter measuring the system output. See NJ Administrative Code.
Based on Board staff research and stakeholder comments, please find the interim GATS meter reading interim procedure and a sample GATS meter reading index spreadsheet for your information. Please feel free to send an email should you have questions or comments.
Board Affirms the Necessity of a Revenue Grade Meter
Recently the Board affirmed the necessity of a revenue grade meter in creation of SRECs, N.J.A.C. 14:8-2.9.
Production Meter Accuracy Requirements
A revenue-grade system output meter that must meet or exceed the ANSI C12.1-2008 accuracy standards is required. The meter must be capable of recording the cumulative kilowatt-hours that the solar installation produces. This meter is commonly called a “production meter”. The monthly kilowatt-hour generation recorded on this meter is used to determine how many SREC’s the solar installation has generated. The monthly kWh production must be reported to the PJM GATS SREC Tracking system to update your account. This meter does not need to be capable of transferring data electronically. While it is possible that your inverter is capable of displaying accumulated kilowatt-hours, the accuracy of the inverter meter does not meet the ANSI C12.1-2008 accuracy standards required by the NJCEP and therefore can not be used for the purpose of generating SRECs. The Market Manager has conducted an informal survey of several major inverter manufacturers and has confirmed that these inverter readings are not intended to meet revenue-grade meter accuracy requirements and are not ANSI C12 Certified.
A revenue grade meter that meets the ANSI C12.1-2008 accuracy requirements may be purchased and installed via a variety of sources. This work should be performed by a licensed NJ electrical contractor in compliance with all local and national electric codes. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has provided additional guidance regarding the applicability of the Electric Subcode for the revenue-grade meters (RGM). You may contract directly with a licensed NJ electrical contractor or work with your project contractor to meet this requirement. You may also review the list of meter suppliers contained in the NJCEP Trade Ally database by selecting the “Metering and Monitoring” category. Meter service providers that wish to be added to the Metering and Monitoring section of the Trade Ally Database can start the process now.
At the request of the BPU, the Market Manager has conducted an informal survey of entities that are currently providing a service to install revenue-grade meters for residential solar projects. The surveyed price range for a basic meter installation was found to be from $350 to $900 with an average price of $645. Meters with advance capabilities such as remote reading are available from $1,250 to $2,500. A summary of the survey results is available at the link below. Meter service providers that wish to be included on the survey results are required to fill out the Meter Installation Survey and Permission Form available at the link below and should submit the completed form via email to the Market Manager at NJREINFO@csgrp.com.
There are many meters that meet the accuracy requirements and the two lists provided below are intended to assist you in identifying a revenue grade meter that meets these accuracy requirements. These lists do not necessarily include every meter that meets the ANSI C12.1-2008 standard, so you should verify a meter’s eligibility by requesting ANSI C12 documentation from the manufacturer.
1. New York State Department of Public Service provides a listing of approved Watt-hour meters which meet the ANSI C12.1-2008 accuracy standards.
2. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has prepared a list entitled “List of Eligible System Performance Meters” which provides a listing of hundreds of meters along with a column to designate whether or not proper documentation for these meters was supplied to the CEC by a third party Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) that verified the meter met or exceeded the +/- 2% accuracy standard. Before you install a meter that does not have the “Y” designation, you should check with the manufacturer to ensure the meter meets or exceeds +/- 2% accuracy required in ANSI C12.1-2008.
Once your revenue grade meter is installed, learn how to report the information to PJM-GATS.