If you are a customer of JEA (formerly known as the Jacksonville Electric Authority) and you are planning to go solar, you need to know how about their new Distributed Generation energy buyback plan. Under this plan, JEA pays for excess electricity generated by your system at the utilities’ fuel rate.
How the JEA Distributed Generation program works
The customer is charged for any electricity they use from JEA at the company’s retail rate of $0.06988 per kilowatt-hour, plus the JEA Fuel Rate of $0.03250 plus an ‘environmental’ rate of $0.000062 per kilowatt-hour for a total charge of $0.10300 per kilowatt-hour.
Under Distributed Generation, any electricity a solar customer sends to JEA is compensated at the fuel rate of $0.03250. JEA will apply these credits to the electric service balance each billing period through the end of the calendar year. Any credits that remain at the end of the calendar year will be paid to the customer.
How to maximize your solar savings
Most solar customers will have paid more than this $0.03250 export rate to produce energy through solar, so it often does not benefit customers financially to export large amounts of solar electricity to the JEA utility grid since they would be losing money. The smart way to maximize your solar savings is to use all of the electricity that your system generates. The less power you send to JEA, the better. There are two ways to accomplish this.
Generate only 60% of your average electricity usage
The goal here is to ensure that you use all the electricity your system generates. While everyone’s daily usage patterns are different, generating 60% or less of the electricity you normally use gives you the best chance of using all the electricity you generate, leaving none left over to accumulate as credits at JEA’s fuel rate. And every kilowatt-hour that you produce and use in your home is one less kilowatt hour that you need to purchase from JEA, which will reduce your utility bill!
Install home batteries
If you own or decide to install a system that generates 100% of your historic power usage, you should consider installing home batteries. The batteries will store the excess electricity your system generates rather than sending it to JEA. You then power your home using that electricity in the evening. This way you use all of your own power and are able to minimize the amount of electricity you send to JEA. Home batteries can also provide power to your home in the event of a blackout. Freedom Forever installs batteries, which can be stacked to provide as much energy storage as you want, even enough to provide for all your power needs in many situations. If you provided all of your own power, JEA would only be able to charge you their basic monthly charge of $5.50 plus local taxes. And the best part is that JEA offers substantial rebates up to $4,000 to incentivize customers to install batteries!
Going solar with Freedom Forever as a JEA customer
We recommend that you speak with your sales representative about your options. If you choose to go with the 60% option, keep in mind that you can add solar panels to your system later should JEA’s energy buyback rates improve. If you currently own a Freedom Forever solar system and want to add batteries, contact us for a free quote.