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Get Powered Up! Certified Energy Manager Jeff Yago answers your alternative energy questions

Wondering about a great new energy-saving device
you found on the Internet? Then CLICK HERE!

Sorry. Jeff no longer answers questions online.
This will remain as a searchable
resource for all BHM website visitors.


Negative Metering

Saturday, December 20th, 2008


Recently I contacted the electric utility company servicing my home inquiring about negative metering. Prior to contacting them I had discussed the possibility of erecting a windmill on my property and selling surplus energy back to my supplier with an electrician friend. He told me the rate stunk but it could be done.

The person I talked to at NIPSCO was an absolute zero. She sent me some paperwork saying that for the privilege of giving them free electricity it would only cost me about $8.00 per month. WHAT?

So I called the number on my state’s, (IND), energy website and got a recorded message saying the person I’d reached doesn’t work there anymore. WWHAT?

Finally, I did something I’ve never done in my life. I wrote my congressman. Actually his website told me to fax his office in South Bend, IN. So, I faxed Mr. Donnally my concerns about negative metering and guess what? I received specific instructions from his office on how to file an application for welfare benefits! I was asking about watts, not welfare! WWWHAT?

Jeff, can you tell me where I can get valid useful information on negative metering for my state? Thanks.



Welcome to the new world order! Its now just like Alice in Wonderland isn’t it.

OK, I will provide you some sanity and real information.

Your state of Indiana has a net metering law that is almost just like many other states. Your local utility is REQUIRED to purchase any power you can generate up to 10 kW, and your local utility is NOT allowed to charge you any fees or other charges for this privilege.

This link will take you to your state’s utility commission’s web site where this is explained in simple terms, along with a real person’s name and phone number you can contact who understands how this works and can help you fill out the forms. Many utilities just do not have the staff or time to deal with these “smaller” projects and will play dumb in hopes you just go away.

Keep in mind that before the net metering laws were passed to allow you to do this, most of these systems were just hooked up anyway and since all it would do is turn the meter backwards, as long as you do not sell back more than you use you would just end up with a smaller monthly bill. Of course this can be un-safe if you do not use the proper equipment, but the point was, if the utility did not make this easier to do legally and at no cost, everyone would just go ahead and do it anyway!

Let us know how this turns out,

Jeff Yago



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