Solar power user says JEA isn't providing proper credits

A local family is complaining that they are not getting the solar savings promised by JEA.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - From a distance, the solar panels on Luis Rivera's roof seem to disappear into the color of the shingles.

"I believe in green energy and they became active in June," he said.

When the Florida skies are bright and sunny, his system performs well. When the skies are dark and ugly, it does not. Even so, he is committed to renewable energy

"I figured it is a good investment," he said.

Rivera has a problem. He said it is not with the system, his problem is with JEA.

"I've been trying to get with JEA to let them know there is an issue here," Rivera said.

He is a Net Metering customer who monitors his system daily. It is how he knows what he consumes and what the system exports to the JEA.

"Since my system has produced more than what my home has consumed, I am supposed to be zero on my electric bill,” he said. "I'm still getting a bill.”

His electric bill is less than $100, but he said this is more than it should be.

It started with his June bill.

"First bill, I basically gave them the benefit of the doubt," he said.

It happened again with the July bill. He said he is puzzled and disappointed.
  
He has the ability to know how much kilowatt hours of electricity his solar system imports and exports to JEA; it's updated every 15 minutes.

"My system actually monitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week," he said.

So, if his data is correct, why is he not getting the credit to make his electric bill zero? Rivera has been calling and emailing the JEA for answers. His system cost nearly $30,000, so he wants to be sure it pays for itself.

"I am just a consumer," he said.

We wanted to know if the problem is his system or is it with the JEA. Spokesperson Gerri Boyce said the utility has reached out to the contractor who installed the system for a technical understanding.

Boyce described the standard protocol for Net Metering customers:

"For our Net Metering customers, JEA credits excess generation supplied by the customer’s solar PV system. JEA, in turn, charges the customer for the shortfall when customer’s PV system cannot meet the home’s electric demand, such as nighttime or times of heavy consumption.  We have data from this customer.  We are working to fully understand the data the customer provided and how his readings correlate to JEA’s measured readings. We have contacted his contractor for a technical understanding of the information before we perform the meter test. If we can uncover an area where JEA has an error or an opportunity to improve our process, we will, once we are able to gain these understandings. 

Now, he waits for the utility's final determination about his energy credits which could reduce his electric bill to zero. 

 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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