The only really easy way to generate and use your own power is to connect your micro generation system to the wiring in your house. This requires you to have a device called a ‘Grid Tied Inverter’ this raises the power generated by your panels to the voltage used by your house.
I’ll go into the specifics of Grid Tied Inverters in another article but for the time being the only thing to know if you must involve your local power provider in the connection of such a device.
Guernsey Electricity requires the completion of two forms before beginning the installation process.
Additional Load / Alteration Form
With this form you are basically tell the power provider how many sockets and lights you have, You have to also include the power requirements of any heavy load devices such as electric showers, cookers and wall mounted / immersion heater.
EE40: Private generation Form
This form gives the power provider information on how much power you could potentially generate. The form is geared to massive private generator’s. Really what you fill-in is quite basic and most of the values can be found in the manual for your inverter.
Seek advice from an electrician or your power provider on anything you don’t know. If you get the forms wrong then they probably won’t let you attempt the installation.
I’ve had a good technical discussion with Guernsey Electricity. They have confirmed that they install two additional electricity meters into the system.
• One meter goes between your inverter and your fuse board. This meter will tell you how much power your system has generated in total.
• The second Meter goes in parallel to your main house meter. This meter will tell you how much you have sold to the grid.
I’ve also found out that the local power provider currently pays 6.3p for every unit sold back to the grid. Whilst this isn’t as attractive as that paid in the UK it is an effective way to obtain credit for units used over night.
I now need to have a discussion with them on the positioning of the connections to the fuse box and a Maintenance Isolator.
I also need to find out what the purpose of the Maintenance Isolator is. Is it for the Power Provider to be able to cut the system out if they are doing maintenance on the power cables?
The end of this section basically is to talk to your provider as to what they require. If you start the conversation knowing the lingo then you will probably get a better response else enlist the services of an electrician to help out.