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Compensating Solar Prosumers Using Buy-All, Sell-All as an Alternative to Net Metering and Net Purchasing: Total Use, Rebound, and Cross Subsidization

Electric utilities are challenging net metering, which compensates owners of residential solar photovoltaic systems by crediting solar generation at the retail rate instead of reflecting the value of solar to the utility. In 2012, Austin Energy was the first US utility to replace net metering with Buy-All, Sell-All, where prosumers purchase all electricity at the retail rate and sell all electricity at the utility's value of solar rate. Using Austin Energy customer data for hot weather months, a load curve comparison of comparably sized houses shows that prosumers have higher consumption than non-solar customers during system peak hours. Regression analysis finds that prosumers use more energy for air conditioning, with a rebound effect of 20%. A simulation shows that under net metering and net purchasing almost 7% of prosumer bills would be paid by non-solar customers while total subsidy would be 18% due to the inclusion of increasing block rates.

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Keywords: Solar tariffs, Net metering, Buy-All, Sell-All, Rebound effect, Cross-subsidies

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.44.1.psch

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Published in Volume 44, Number 1 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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