I think that it is very likely that the new net metering program that has been submitted by WEC to the Vermont public service board will be approved, and Solar PV installs will once again be permitted for WEC members. It does appear that WEC has limited headroom before they hit the %15 cap though, and I would advise anyone who wants to put in a net metered Solar PV system to call us soon, so we can submit your paperwork and get you on the list.
Being an off-grid family, we have to be smart about our energy consumption. Things like running heavy loads while the sun is providing energy, rather than burdening our batteries in the evening when the sun isn't shining. We also anticipate when the energy will be available, and adjust accordingly. An example of this is waiting to do laundry when we have a good solar day. These are not huge efforts, but they can be inconvenient, and require some management. The future of energy management is arriving quickly, will be in every home, even grid-tie homes, and it will be automatic. Here is an solution from SMA that is available in Germany. SMA Smart Home
WEC has submitted a proposal to the Vermont Public Service Board, regarding net-metering. In summary, you will be able to net out everything but the Grid Service Fee and the Member Service Fee. Here is a picture of what that means for your electric bill, in this example the member's bill went from $100 to $27 dollars, and they carried a $20 credit toward eligible line items on next months bill. Below is a link to the lengthy details, good reading if you need to fall asleep :-) Call Darren at 802-522-2381 for estimates.
We had originally planned to install a Solar Thermal Hot Water system at our house (we love reducing our propane bill), but the the advancements in Solar PV, and Heat Pump Hot Water Heaters, have sent us down a different path. Adding Solar PV, grid-tie, or even off-grid, as well as a HPWH can be an economical solution, and more versatile. When Solar Thermal over produces your demand, you are left with only excess hot water, but when Solar PV over produces your demand the excess can be consumed by any load that requires electricity. Here are a couple of articles discussing the pros, and cons.
Solar PV Hot Water Article