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What does your electricity bill look like under microFIT?

There is no change to our electricity bill. The microFIT program simply pays you for the power you generate. It does not have any effect on the amount of power you are billed for by your electric company. Although in our case at least, the billing interval went to one month instead of two. Your mileage may vary.

In addition to our regular electricity bill, we now get a cheque from Toronto Hydro every month, paying us for the electricity we generated in the previous month. With the cheque, they send a statement that shows the total kilowatt hours we generated in the month.

Because our system was installed so early, it was connected in “series”, which means the electricity we generate gets used up in our house first, and only excess electricity goes to the grid. We are still paid for all the electricity we generate, regardless of where it is used. New microFIT installations would be setup with a direct connection to the grid.

The two meters on our house provide three important numbers:

  • The number of kilowatt hours we generate
  • The number of kilowatt hours we consume from the grid
  • The number of kilowatt hours we send out to the grid

So with a bit of math, Toronto Hydro can figure out how much electricity we’ve used:

(kWh generated – kWh sent to grid) + kWh consumed from grid

Maybe one day they’ll direct-deposit the payments, but for now, we’re looking at 20 years of cheques!

We have graphs that show the consumption and export of electricity to and from our house. This situation changes all the time, because the amount of sunlight, and our use of electricity, both vary throughout the day. On some days, we export more electricity than we consume from the grid, making us net producers. On average throughout the year, the amount of solar power we generate equals about half the total power that we use in our house.