Come Watch Our Electric Meter Run Backwards!

Posted By on August 2, 2010

Come visit us mid-day on a sunny day at the Potterhill community Northwind in Northside and chances are, you’ll get to see our electric meter running backwards.

We have combined our standard best building practices with geothermal heating and cooling and solar panels to create this home that is “Net Zero Energy Cost”. 

The solar power production causes the meter to run backwards when there aren’t any clouds in the sky and the sun is high. In other words, at that moment in time, our house is producing more energy than it is using, so we are feeding it back to the utility company.

In fact, the first time the meter reader from utility company came out to read our meter, it was running backwards.  He said, “This must be broken, I have never seen an electric meter run backwards in all of my 20 years on the job.”  WOW! We’re glad to be the first!

So, does that mean that the utility company is paying us?  Not exactly…here’s how it works.

Duke Energy and other Ohio & Kentucky power providers have what is called a “net metering” agreement.  They come to your house (or our model home) to read the meter at the beginning of a month and they come back at the end of the month. 

So, while our meter might be running backwards at a given point in time on a sunny day, over the course of the month we will still use energy.  We will still have some (although a small amount) net energy usage.  We will still pay a small bill each month (on average $70/month).

So, if we still pay a bill, how can you say the house is Net Zero Energy Cost?

Well, you have to factor in SREC’s.  SREC’s are Solar Renewable Energy Credits and a solar panel system produces approximately 1.2 SREC’s per Kilowatt each year.  Each SREC can be sold on the energy market…it’s sort of like a carbon credit.  So, even though our house in Northwind will have to purchase approximately $850 per year in energy, we will receive back $900 in SREC income over the course of that same year.  In essence, we’ll be $50 ahead of the game in terms of out of pocket expenses! SREC’s are not available in all states, but they are available in Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana to name a few.

This may sound very sci-fi and expensive to install, but it’s not.  Visit a Potterhill Homes representative today to learn how you can build the most energy efficient homes around.  You can own a home that has Net Zero Energy Cost from under $200,000. http://www.potterhillhomes.com/

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About the author

As the people behind Potterhill Homes, we have some pretty strong feelings about energy efficiency and green building. And we don't always agree! But we are commited to building a best homes we can and bringing you along on our journey to figure out exactly what that means! Thanks for checking out our site. My Google Profile+

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About Potterhill Homes

Cincinnati-based Potterhill Homes is a premier builder of affordable, environmentally friendly homes in Greater Cincinnati. Our homes are built with traditional Cincinnati architectural styles and are perfect for both urban infill and suburban development. To learn more about Potterhill Homes,visit www.potterhillhomes.com.


About the authors

As the people behind Potterhill Homes, we have some pretty strong feelings about energy efficiency and green building. And we don't always agree! But we are commited to building a best homes we can and bringing you along on our journey to figure out exactly what that means! Thanks for checking out our site. My Google Profile+