A buy all sell all arrangement of metering renewable energy seems to be one of the more popular ways of metering solar power and wind power these days. But what is it? How does it work? Is is right for me?
What is Buy all Sell all?
Buy all sell all is a way for small scale renewable energy producers to connect back into the grid. This typically uses a two meter setup. One meter measures what customers are consuming and the other measures what they are producing. It is pretty simple really.
How does it work?
As stated, in a buy all sell all arrangement two meters are typically employed. Normally when we think about renewable energy we think about solar panels on someone’s roof. This is accurate but often times customers think that as soon as they put the solar panels on the roof their power bill will go down. While this can be the case in a net metering arrangement it is not the case in a buy all sell all arrangement.
Surprising to some is that in a typical buy all sell all arrangement the normal electric bill does not change. This may be confusing. But what we are saying by buy all sell all is that we are going to buy all of the power that we use from the power company as usual. Then, all of the power that our solar panels or wind turbines produce will be sold back to the utility.
One of the easiest ways to think about it is if the solar panels or wind turbines were physically located in another state. You are still producing the power but it does not reduce your bill.
On your power be you will get something like an avoided cost credit. This is paid at a predetermined rate set by the utility. Normally it is close to the wholesale rate they pay. So, if you pay $0.10 per Kwh they may pay you $0.05 per Kwh. This means that you are not getting the retail rate paid back to you.
Is a Buy all Sell all Arrangement Right for You?
If it is the only option available then yes. If net metering is available then it is probably a better option as you can trade retail Kwh per retail Kwh. Before agreeing to either or you need to make sure that you read your rates very carefully to make sure they make perfect sense to you.
Renewable energy metering can be confusing. You have buy all sell all and you have net metering. But which on is right depends on your circumstances and what is available from your utility.