Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut July 14, 2017 - 4:00 pm

Nunavut energy corp. rolling out net metering program

Customers will soon be able to install renewable energy systems, get credit for power generation

Nunavummiut will soon be able to install solar panels and other renewable energy systems on their home to offset the cost of their electricity through a net metering program that the Qulliq Energy Corp. is rolling out. (FILE PHOTO)
Nunavummiut will soon be able to install solar panels and other renewable energy systems on their home to offset the cost of their electricity through a net metering program that the Qulliq Energy Corp. is rolling out. (FILE PHOTO)

The Qulliq Energy Corporation is moving forward with a net metering program that will allow Nunavut customers to install renewable energy systems and get credit for the energy they produce.

The QEC wrote a letter to Johnny Mike, minister responsible for QEC, on June 28, to request changes to the corporation’s Terms and Conditions of Service to itemize the rules under which the service will be offered.

According to that application forwarded to the minister, all residential customers, and one municipal customer in each community, for now, will be permitted to install a renewable energy generator—solar panels, for instance, or wind turbines—not to exceed 10 kilowatts.

Business customers will not be permitted to use net metering, for the time being.

Those renewable energy systems must meet the corporation’s “technical interconnection requirements” and all relevant Canadian electrical codes, and the total cost of installation must be borne by the customer.

Any upgrades to accommodate net metering will be engineered, designed and constructed by QEC and then the costs billed to the customer. Customers will also have to bear the costs of installing a new bi-directional meter that measures a customer’s energy input as well as their consumption.

It’s not clear yet how much those meters, and their installation, will cost. But according to a QEC spokesperson Sheila Papa, that information, along with step-by-step guidelines for customers, will be available by Oct. 2. Papa said QEC will have a supply of those bi-directional meters when the program rolls out.

The QEC’s application to the minister says customers “will not receive any monetary compensation from the Net Metering Program.”

Instead, net metering customers will receive a monthly kWhs credit equal to the amount of kWhs exported to the corporation’s grid during the billing period.

If, during the month, your renewable system produces more energy than you consume, you will not be charged for electricity that month and QEC will credit any remaining kWhs to the your account as a “banked credit.”

In subsequent months, if your renewable energy system produces less energy than you consume, those banked credits will be applied to reduce what you owe to QEC.

Any banked credits remaining at year-end will be reset to zero on March 31. Credits can’t be carried over from previous annual periods or transferred to other accounts, the QEC says.

You can read about the program in more detail on QEC’s website here.

The Clyde River community hall, which was fitted with 27 solar panels in August 2016, is currently generating power and off-setting the municipality’s diesel fuel consumption.

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(16) Comments:

#1. Posted by Free on July 14, 2017

Very cool and I wish that i’d get in a position to take advantage of this, but… “Business customers will not be permitted to use net metering, for the time being.”

Weird - those that might be in the best position to do this aren’t allowed to…

#2. Posted by Supporter? on July 14, 2017

How will this work during the long dark winter months, when we use more power and fuel???

#3. Posted by Me Mer on July 14, 2017

#1 I’ll tell you why business customers are not allowed. QEC is the only power provider in the 25 municipalities which have authority and the responsibility to ensure the safety of residents, businesses and government buildings. They are tasked with ensuring the power movers, fuel systems and electrical distribution infrastructure is sound, reliable and as cost efficient as possible. Private business doesn’t seem to hold the same policy which is evident through history and plagues communities. Case in point: Imagine this! Give the Northwest Company access to the power grid. ‘nuff said.

#4. Posted by shocked on July 14, 2017

If individuals could generate electricity for a cost that is significantly less than QEC can, then it would make sense to turn control of QEC to those individuals. 

Net Meters are very expensive.

So why is QEC paying the cost of having those meters available?  Something does not add up. We are not getting the complete story. I suspect QEC will have exactly 2 of those meters.

Could it be that QEC and the GN are bowing to political pressure to be seen to be accommodating the Green Agenda?

But they are doing it in a way that no one would exercise the option unless some third party paid the cost.  No third party is likely to do that unless they can get the money from a fourth party who has an agenda.

Time for some open government and some investigative journalism here before its too late.

#5. Posted by NHC time to act! on July 15, 2017

I hope someone from NHC is reading this and moving on it, as they are residential customers not a for-profit-business! Would save the government money in the long run.

#6. Posted by Free on July 17, 2017

Me Mer (#3):  The way the system seems to be designed sounds like giving businesses the opportunity to take part in this wouldn’t be giving them control over the system - not sure why you though that I was advocating for privatization of Nunavut’s power system…
But I do think that businesses are in a better position to install energy generation equipment and then if they do, they demand less energy from Qulliq and then there’s more for domestic consumption…
Weird that they’re not permitted to

#7. Posted by Benoit Hudson on July 17, 2017

How this works in winter is that QEC has generators that generate electricity—just like how it works every winter, and in all the other seasons too. But if you install solar panels, while it’s light out you can provide some power and let QEC turn down its diesel generators for a while. If you install a small windmill, it’s when the wind blows.

Residential rates are set by QEC below what it actually costs to generate the power when you account for everything (not just fuel, but also maintenance and so on). By letting residential customers reduce their power bill, QEC also saves money.

#8. Posted by Benoit Hudson on July 17, 2017

Down south the kind of money it takes to install a solar system is like a new small car, and it pays off in 8-10 years. Solar systems normally last 20+ years.

If we get several people together to install systems on several homes at once, it’ll be the same thing here—it’ll be more expensive, but so are cars and electricity. If you can hold off on a new car for a couple years, get solar panels instead.

There’s still time to order and get it delivered on the third ship this year, so you could start producing power just after the program starts.

Find me on Facebook if you’re interested—or go your own.

#9. Posted by Nunavut Housing Corporation on July 17, 2017

Poster #5 and others see Action #49 of the Nunavut Housing Corporation Blueprint For Action on Housing

#10. Posted by Sun and wind on July 17, 2017

At the end of the day, still useless! 10kw is peanuts. hahaha I wonder how many people are stupid enough to even think of going green right now,  don’t fall into this scam! Dammit!!

#11. Posted by Wind & Sun on July 17, 2017

#5 poster!!!  Come on!

#12. Posted by Higher power bills for non solar coming? on July 17, 2017

Net metering is fine and dandy as long as non solar user are not charged more by the utility company for loss revenue by solar power users.

Remember solar power users are still hooked up to the power grid, meaning they still draw power when their solar panels are not producing or not enough. Solar users still rely on the wires, transformers, oil, plant maintenance and future improvements.

If solar users expect non solar users to pay more,
expect loud NO way!

As in other cities solar users are billed an extra fee per month to make the playing field level. 

Look over at NWT, they are screaming over sky rocketing electrical bills, as the electrical utility says it because of lower power usage and have to make up the lost revenue. 

After October will Iqaluit and all of Nunavut non-solar users expect big power bill increases sneakily show up on our power bills because of net metering?

#13. Posted by Many Meters Don't Work on July 17, 2017

True story.  The QEC installed the new smart meters on 2 next door neighbors homes

One had a recurring monthly bill of $5 to 12. 

The other had a recurring montly bill of $700 to $1200. 

QEC insisted the meters were fine and wouldn’t inspect.  Told the one guy to be happy and shut up and the other to pay up or else.

#14. Posted by Benoit Hudson on July 18, 2017

#10 sun and wind: My friends down South who’ve installed panels have installed between 4 and 6 kW and get to net zero electricity. 10 kW is a lot.

#12 higher power bills: who do you prefer to pay with your power bill? Oil companies in the middle east, or local people with solar panels on their roof? QEC is choosing to pay local people. The cost is about the same, so no, you shouldn’t expect this policy to increase your electric rates.

#15. Posted by Higher power bills for non solar coming? on July 18, 2017

Solar power users still rely 100% on the power plant for power, wires, transformers etc, even if QEC is buying power back from them. I sure hope it’s not calculated at retail price either. Wholesale or way below wholesale if not paying a monthly solar feeder and still relying on the grid.

Look around the world where utilities buy back the excess power and other users rates went up. Others reduced the buy back rate paid or implemented a monthly fee for solar feeders.

Canada could supply oil to Arctic and wouldn’t have to rely on over seas oil. Though with any increase in oil production in Canada, half must automatically go to the USA. If it wasn’t for Trudeau’s 5 year no oil / gas discovery/ drilling Moratorium, Nunavut would of been farther ahead then being kept intentionally as a Canadian/UN welfare state.

Building solar panels rely on oil to be made and oil mining the rare earth minerals used in solar panels.

#16. Posted by Northman on July 18, 2017

Hey there Higher power bills, let’s remember that residential customers receive massive subsidies for their use of fossil fuel power, so customers who use solar to offset and reduce the diesel generated power they use will also receive far less in subsidies from the government compared to those who don’t. Basically half of the savings for any power generated by solar panels will go to the government rather than the customer. I think that should more than cover their use of the transmission lines and such.
Not to mention, if you actually read the article, any upgrades and equipment, including the new meters, will be paid by the customers themselves, meaning they are paying for even more equipment up front.
And if after all of that, you’re still worried about people installing panels are getting such a great deal, why not do the logical thing and install some panels yourself?

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