Electric meter technology reduces cost of solar power installation

 Electric meter technology reduces cost of solar power installation

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Adding solar panels to a home often includes expensive electrical panel upgrades that add around $2,500 to the cost.

To make solar installations cheaper and faster, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) began installations of a Renewable Meter Adapters, (RMA) technology that significantly reduces the cost for many customers installing residential rooftop solar.

Developed by SDG&E, the RMAs connect rooftop solar systems directly to the existing electric meter panel in as little as an hour. The RMA technology allows rooftop solar customers to avoid the need for invasive and time consuming panel upgrades that typically cost over $2,500 not including the structural impacts to walls, stucco and landscaping, especially for older homes.

"SDG&E is proud to have interconnected more than 62,000 customer rooftop solar systems, representing more than 415 megawatts of electricity," said Caroline Winn, Chief Energy Delivery Officer for SDG&E. "RMA technology is another example of our commitment to enable our customers' choice of technology on the SDG&E grid. RMAs will help to put solar within the reach of more of our customers in a way that is efficient, safe, and reliable."

RMAs are among several SDG&E initiatives to support California's environmental goals and the growth of rooftop solar. In 2013, SDG&E developed an online application that reduces solar interconnection times to an average of four to five calendar days, to our knowledge that is the fastest approval time in California. A growing number of customers are also taking advantage of SDG&E's "fast track" option that allows same-day connection.

RMAs will further speed up the solar interconnection process for SDG&E customers. The RMA costs approximately $1,300. Customers and solar installers can order RMAs by visiting sdge.com/rma.

In addition to having met California's 33 percent renewable power goal, SDG&E provides the grid service that receives output from its rooftop solar customers during the day and delivers electricity to those customers when their solar panels are not producing electricity in the evening and at night. The SDG&E grid ensures safe and reliable power.

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 868,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

Read more about home solar power

Topics: Connected Homes / Smart Homes, Photovoltaic / Solar Panels, Solar Power

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