Right now, there are two programs available if you’re interested in purchasing a PV system for your home or business: Grid Supply and Self Supply. Grid Supply provides a PV customer with credit on their electric bill for the excess electricity their system sends to the grid. Self Supply is a program for customers with energy storage such as batteries. David Gorman with RevoluSun has more in today’s Energy Innovation segment.
Living808, KHON2 | August 10, 2016
0:00 Trini: Now if you’re planning on installing a PV system, or if you’ve already received approval to install one, listen up! Now, there’s two different kinds of programs available, we are learning more about that today in our Energy Innovation segment with RevoluSun. I’m here with David Gorman with RevoluSun, and David, there are two programs available for people with PV systems is that right?
0:22 David: There are, yeah. I think there’s, you know, kind of a lot of confusion out there. The Net Metering Program did end last October, a lot of people rushed to get their applications in and thank goodness they did, they got grandfathered into that old program. Well now there’s two new programs that Hawaiian Electric released, the Grid Supply and the Self Supply programs.
0:42 Trini: Okay, What’s the difference between the two?
0:43 David: So the difference is, the Grid Supply program is a lot like Net Metering. They just changed the amount that they credit you for the energy that you make during the day that you don’t use immediately, that you actually export onto the grid. So under Net Metering you actually got full retail credit for that power. Under gird supply you get 15 cents a kilowatt hour worth of credit. So the simplest way to kind of understand it is that your day time electricity is still free, your nighttime electricity is now about half off. So not a terrible thing at all.
1:10 Trini: Okay, and then the other option you said was self supply?
1:13 David: Self supply. So self supply will likely be the only option in the future, where Hawaiian Electric kind of can’t take all this energy in the day, and so under Self Supply you’ll get batteries, and instead of storing that energy on the grid, you’ll store it yourself to use at night. So that’s why they call it Self Supply.
1:33 Trini: Okay, what does that mean for me the home owner? Is one more expensive than the other?
1:37 David: Yeah, so right now under Grid Supply you just get a PV system like you always did, just PV panels, and an inverter, and you’re trading with the utility, essentially using the utility as your battery. Under Self Supply, most people are probably looking at adding about $15,000 to the cost of their PV system. So it’s somewhat substantial, right now there isn’t a state tax credit to help pay for that but you do get the 30% federal tax credit, however, but in the future I’m sure there will be a change to the rate structure, a state tax credit. You know, there’ll be some effort to make that battery more affordable for folks.
2:11 Trini: Okay, so is the message then to hurry up and get it installed?
2:13 David: Yes, that is absolutely the message.
2:15 Trini: If you’ve still got the application and you’re just waiting?
2:17 David: Yes, so there’s two hurry up messages. One is, if you got your application into HECO and you got conditional approval, let’s get that system built.
2:25 Trini: Is this the application?
2:27 David: This is the grid supply application, yes. And so, if you haven’t got your Grid Supply application in, you’ve probably got until around the end of September is what it’s looking like right now, to get that application in so you can get grandfathered for this program, because it will end. Hawaiian Electric and the PUC set aside a specific amount of room for this Grid Supply program, so we really want people to, you know. We don’t charge any money for this, we come out to the house, we figure out how many panels you need, we’re able to fill out this application, we just have you sign four signature pages, and then we turn that in, and then we all wait to get approval.
3:00 Trini: Okay. Well then why would you procrastinate?
3:03 David: That’s right.
3:04 Trini: Right. Now, does it affect you if you already have a PV system?
3:08 David: No, so if you have a PV system under Net Metering you’re grandfathered under that program. If you ever sell your house, that Net Metering is transferable to the new owner, so it’s a great thing to have, and this Grid Supply program, you know, grandfathered status will be a great thing to have in the future as well.
3:24 Trini: Okay, it’s sounding to me like the Grid Supply program is better because it’s cheaper?
3:30 David: Yes.
3:31 Trini: But are there any benefits to having self supply?
3:33 David: For sure, and actually people under Grid Supply, some are opting to get batteries as well. And so, well, if you’re under Self Supply and you have to get batteries, well one of the benefits of having batteries is if the grid every goes down, your house will still have power. So your house will just shift over to drawing energy from the batteries from drawing energy from the PV system or the grid.
3:53 Trini: Okay, are there any other programs that work, anything else we should know about?
3:57 David: Right now that’s it, unless you want to go off grid. So that’s a little extreme but some people want to be totally autonomous. And so, we can help them out with that as well. But, Grid Supply is really the best program, Self Supply is right after that. There’s great battery technology that we have at the Innovation Center. So, we’re there all week, so you can actually come in and see the different batteries that we have, so we’re ready.
4:21 Trini: I’m glad you mentioned the Innovation Center because it really is a great resource for people to just come on down, you know, ask questions, touch, and see how everything works.
4:31 David: That’s why we built the space because, you know, all of these new technologies, people want to actually be able to see them, touch them, kick the tires so to speak, and then we also have our Smart Home seminars. Third Saturday of every month, so you can come in, learn about the programs, learn about all the Smart Home products that we have.
4: 47 Trini: And I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s totally confused with all this technology, I’m sure I’m not the only one. So it’s great because you guys can really say it in a way that people can understand.
4:57 David: That’s what we’re here for.
4:58 Trini: Alright David, thank you so much.
4:59 David: Thank you Trini.
5:00 Trini: Okay, now we actually have additional information about the Grid Supply program, so David Gorman with RevoluSun is here in studio.
5:07 David: Hey, Trini. Thank you for having me in.
5:11 Trini: Alright, so there is a limit, right—a cap to the amount of systems allowed under Grid Supply?
5:16 David: There is, so last October when they ended Net Metering they set aside 25 megawatts for the Grid Supply program. That probably means very little to most people watching, so I wanted to come on and, you know, kind of give them the update on how many houses can qualify for the Grid Supply program today. So we’re about 80% subscribed, today, that means there’s about 4 or 5 megawatts left. What that equates to with a home, your average home gets about a 7 kilowatt system, so that means about 6 or 7 hundred more homes can participate in this Grid Supply program.
5:50 Trini: Oh my gosh, okay.
5:51 David: It could be less than, because actually the cap applies to both commercial as well as residential. Commercial systems are usually much larger, so the 6 or 7 hundred more homes figure assumes that it’s all houses that will be applying. So if you get some big commercial systems in there it could be much less than that.
6:07 Trini: Okay so what happens once we’re capped out?
6:09 David: So right now, we go straight to Self Supply, so we have that Self Supply programs we were talking about. That’s where instead of trading electricity with the utility, you’re gonna get batteries installed in your house, your excess daytime electricity, instead of sending that out onto the grid and using Hawaiian Electric as your battery, you’ll use your own batteries. So you’ll store that energy and then use that energy at nighttime.
6:31 Trini: Okay. Now, if I’m interested in installing solar on my home, what should I do? ‘Cause, it’s kind of confusing, there’s so much information out there.
6:39 David: So the first thing you gotta do is just get your application in to Hawaiian Electric and that’s what we’re here for is to get your electric bill and to figure out how many panels you need to put on your roof to offset your electric bill. It’s a perfect week, we got the BIA Remodel it Right show this weekend, so come see us there. We’ve sort of taken the Innovation Center on the road and we have a beautiful booth with all of our products. So you can see them, talk to our project developers at the show. If you can’t make it this weekend, or you can’t get enough of us, you can come to our seminar next weekend on the 20th. What we’re trying to do there is just make it really easy for folks to just get their application in. So come to the seminar, it’s on the 20th at 10:00 a.m.. Bring your electric bill, and we’ll be able to figure out how many panels you need, size the system, and get your application in that week, because the deadline is coming up. We probably only have about a month left at the pace that people are submitting applications. So just bring your electric bill, we don’t charge you anything to do all the electrical work and get your application in, so we just want to make it easy for you.
7:44 Trini: Okay. Alright, so totally unsolicited, I happen to have a RevoluSun solar on my home, this is before we even met, so—but I’m telling you when those bills come in and it’s $18.00 a month, it is very nice.
8:00 David: That’s what gets us up in the morning, I mean, there’s really few happier feelings than opening that bill.
8:04 Trini: It also adds value—adds value to your home.
8:07 David: Absolutely. I was just talking to an appraiser, because we’re in the process of getting our home refinanced, and trying to capture the value of all our RevoluSun Smart Home improvements, and he said that they—sort of, his calculation, about 60% of the gross system cost—most people get about 50% back in tax credits—so you’re still ahead of the game if you’ve got 50% back in tax credits and it’s still worth 10% more than that.
8:33 Trini: Alright David, thank you so much.
8:35 David: Thank you, Trini.
8:36 Alright, RevoluSun Smart Home they’ve got their Innovation Center right on Ward, but this weekend go check them out at the BIA home show.
8:40 David: Yes. Can’t wait to see you.