A series of changes has affected the billing process for Duke net metering customer accounts.
Some Duke legacy net metering customers had analog meters with dials and a spinning disc that went backwards when energy was exported to the grid. Those meters indicated the amount of kilowatt hours (kWh) credit. You could read your meter and keep a record of the seasonal kWh credits. The summer kWh credits would carry forward month to month and offset energy used from the grid in winter.
When “smart” AMI digital meters were approved by the IURC, the meters of Duke net metering customers were not initially replaced. Several commonly occurring errors were identified during 2021 when net metering customers received new AMI meters. Although some models of AMI meters did not properly register energy and some meters were programed incorrectly, most of the identified issues have been resolved. Net metering customers are not eligible for the AMI opt-out program.
Digital displays on the new meters start at 000000 kilowatt hours (kWh). The cumulative kWh credits are not displayed. Likewise, your solar kWh production is not displayed. Numbers that are displayed by the meter in sequence are energy from the grid and energy sent to the grid. For example, if the numbers are 000500 from the grid and 000200 to the grid, your net monthly usage would be 300 kWh before adjusting for cumulative kWh credits.
The Duke incremental residential rates are highest for the first 300 kWh used each month. You get discounts for using more energy.
Another change (without explanation on the bill or on the company’s website) is conversion of the net metering adjustment to cash equivalents. This now occurs in a manner contrary to the easily understood language in the existing Duke net metering tariff. The tariff specifies, If the kWh generated by the customer and delivered to Company exceeds the kWh supplied by the Company to customer during the billing period, the customer shall be credited in the next billing cycle for the kWh difference. Instead, the current calculation of the “net metering adj” amount is not disclosed in sufficient detail to allow customers to replicate their billing for the month. The resulting calculated adjustment may show an amount payable than it would have been using the previous formula.
The company’s internal billing system keeps a record of monthly kWh credits, which can be provided to customers upon request. If you believe your billing is not correct after the meter replacement, you may contact the Duke Energy Renewable Service Center by phone (866 233-2290) or email to CustomerOwnedGeneration@duke-energy.com.
An email response may be forthcoming in days or weeks. You could be on the phone for hours until you contact someone who can answer your question. Repeated inquiries may be necessary. They will work with the billing and metering departments as needed to resolve the issue. You are entitled to a cash refund if your account has been overcharged.
Reviewing your electric bill monthly is advisable. Net metering accounts are processed by hand. Although customer accounts with overcharges have been adjusted in response to specific requests, some previous errors have been repeated in subsequent billing cycles. A new online Duke customer billing portal announced for introduction in 2022 may offer improvements including visibility of your cumulative kWh credits.
← Solar Q&A