UTICA, N.Y. — The state of New York recently passed legislation that expands its current net-metering law to include residential micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) technologies like ECR’s freewatt system. The freewatt system combines an Energy Star-rated, high-efficiency natural gas furnace or boiler with a Honda co-generator to produce heat and electricity for homes.
Net metering enables customers to use the excess electricity they generate to offset their consumption over a specific billing period. Essentially, their electric meters will turn backward when they generate electricity in excess of their demand, resulting in a credit on their utility bill.
“The inclusion of micro-CHP as an eligible technology in New York State’s net metering law is extremely significant,” said Michael Paparone, president and CEO of ECR. “Net metering will allow micro-CHP homeowners to offset the cost of electricity they purchase from a utility by selling any excess power they generate back to the utility. We estimate this will save them approximately $1,000 per year, depending on their specific utility’s rates.”
The previous law permitted net-energy metering for residential solar, farm waste, non-residential solar and residential and/or farm service wind electric generating systems. The amended law, which was signed into legislation by New York Governor David Paterson, Aug. 27, also requires electric corporations to permit net-energy metering for micro-CHP generating equipment and to provide for the interconnection of micro-CHP systems to the electric system in the same manner as other eligible technologies.
“Net metering for micro-CHP technologies, like freewatt, is now available in 16 states,” Paparone said. “This has occurred in less than three years, which signifies rapid acceptance of the technology. It also indicates that these states understand the importance of giving their residents as many energy-efficient choices as possible.”
Micro-CHP has been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as one of its 2009 Climate Choice technologies. Climate Choice is a new partnership program that recognizes emerging technologies with the potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions once they are more widely adopted.