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Net Metering & Your Bill

The energy generated by your Distributed Generation (“DG”) system serves the energy needs of your home and can reduce your monthly electric bill. Any additional energy your home  needs that is not supplied by your DG system is automatically supplied by Mississippi Power. If your DG system is considered renewable, and, at any moment, generates energy in excess of what your home consumes (or stores in a battery system), that energy may be exported back to the electric grid and purchased by Mississippi Power.

Not all DG systems will be able to generate excess electricity. It is common for solar-powered DG systems to produce a portion of the energy needed by your home, with the remainder is provided by Mississippi Power. Those customers that do generate excess energy will be eligible to sell to Mississippi Power at a rate determined by the Mississippi Public Service Commission. However, even those customers whose DG system does NOT generate excess electricity will still see a reduction, or offset, in their bills as the portion of the overall energy provided by the Mississippi Power should decrease.

What is net metering?

Net metering is the process by which individual electric utility customers who generate electricity from renewable energy, such as solar panels, can sell their excess power back to their local utilities. The customers are compensated at a rate established by the Mississippi Public Service Commission for the electricity they produce and place on the electric grid.

Are offsetting energy and net metering the same thing?

No. When you install a renewable energy system at your home or business, the system will offset, or replace, at least some portion of the electricity you would have otherwise used from the electric grid. Net metering refers only to the process of exporting to the grid excess electricity from your system.

How often does a renewable system such as a solar PV system export power to the grid?

This is a function of both energy supply needed for the home or business at any given point in time as well as factors that cause changes in how much sunshine the panels receive, such as on a cloudy day and at night. When the PV system produces more power than is needed for the residence or business, the system will seamlessly export that excess power to the utility grid. This may happen many times a day, an hour, or even within a minute or second, depending on conditions.

What are the rates paid in Mississippi for excess electricity exported to Mississippi Power's grid?

Under the RENM rate, Mississippi Power purchases excess Renewable energy generated by our customers at the energy's avoided cost value plus an additional 2.5 cents per kWh. For residential customers that qualify as low-to-Moderate income customers, an additional 2 cents/kWh will be added to the avoided-cost value in addition to the 2.5 cents/kWh. These rates are established by Mississippi Public Service Commission rules, and can be found at Pricing & Rates.

What is the avoided-cost rate?

Avoided-cost is the cost a utility would have incurred had it supplied the power from its generation resources. Mississippi Power's rates for avoided-cost energy are updated periodically and are located at Pricing & Rates. The value of avoided costs vary depending on the time of day and season of the year. This rate is from the company's most recent federal Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) analysis of avoided costs and is also filed with the Mississippi Public Service Commission. 

How do I know if I am a low-income customer?

Per the Mississippi Public Service Commission's ruling, a customer qualifies as a low-to-moderate income customer if the household income is at or below 225 percent of the federal poverty level. The low-to-moderate income benefit adder will remain in place for a period of 25 years from the date the customer begins taking net metering service. Any Mississippi Power customer may determine if they are eligible for the low-to-moderate income rate for net metering by calling the toll-free number 855-847-0555 to speak with a representative from Catholic Charities. The customer will be directed to a representative, general information will be taken, and customers will be provided a list of documents required for an appointment. 

Is there a cap on the amount of electricity that will be obtained from net-metered customers?

The Mississippi Public Service Commission established a limit of 3 percent of the Company’s system peak demand, expressed in kilowatts, as recorded during the calendar year of 2022 for service under the net metering program. However, there is no limit on the amount of energy, measured in kilowatt-hours, that may be produced by net-metered customers.

How does the process to request net metering work?

Mississippi Power's step-by-step process for interconnecting to the company's electric grid and being able to net meter a renewable energy system can be found here.

Can I net-meter my backup generator?

No. Backup generators are not typically designed to be operated in parallel with Mississippi Power's electric grid. Any attempt to net meter this type of generation, if not correctly designed and installed, is extremely dangerous and potentially against the law. In addition, you should make sure your qualified solar installer or other renewable energy system installer is aware of any standby generator you have so that appropriate allowances can be made in the design of the renewable energy system.