Their Meter is Always Running Backwards


Meet the Sullivans. They had 38 solar panels installed in their front yard about three years ago. They had hot water heater and air conditioning system custom-made to operate on solar energy. Sure, the solar system cost about $24,000 and the air conditioning system about an additional  $9,000, but it’s paying off now. Their power bill for the hot month of July in Florida was $2.55. I am reiterating a Florida July, because that usually is one of the hottest months for us, making the AC run non-stop, and the bills are usually atrocious. The Sullivans also had a credit of $21.09 for June. The Sullivan’s are hoping to recoup their investment in as little as seven years.

On Top of The World residents Joann and Edward Barnes also use solar energy. They have a 24-panel solar system to power their air conditioning and lighting. Before installing their solar panel system, their power bill was typically under $100. Now the bills are less than $10, and they too, have sold back power to their electric company.

Joe Sullivan was quoted saying, “the meters are almost always running backwards”.  What does that mean to the average “Joe”? The power company is providing him credit for the energy that he is producing. And that’s a good thing! Here’s why:

Bev De Mello with the Florida Public Service Commission said that "net metered customers" like the Sullivans "receive credit at the retail rate for excess energy put on the grid each month, with the balance of excess energy credits rolling over into subsequent months. At the end of each calendar year the remaining balance of credits is purchased by the IOU (investor-owned utility) at the utility’s COG-1 (co-generation), as available energy tariff. That is basically what they would pay any other independent power producer providing as available energy."

The Sullivans and the Barnes are among a small, yet increasing number of residential power customers who have embraced solar energy. In fact, an official from Duke Energy has said that the company has seen more than a 400 % increase in the number of residential customers connecting  solar panels to the energy grid over the past five years. Authorities are saying that with the technology for solar systems having greatly improved, and the installation costs dropping significantly, we can soon expect roofs all over Florida to be covered with solar panels. “They’ll be as common as cell phone towers!”

It’s a great movement. One towards a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable living situations. Oh, and let’s not forget  solar power has cost benefits and returns. Curious to see how much you can save? Or make? Contact a specialist in your area for a free consultation.


If you’re thinking about upgrading your home or business with a solar energy system or other energy management products, make sure you choose a reliable team of Green Energy contractors. At Energy Management Systems (EMS) Contracting Corp, our passionate, highly experienced professionals are ready to help you take advantage of a high-quality, high-value solar energy system. From start to finish, our goal is to meet and exceed the expectations of our clients in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and surrounding counties. State of Florida License CGC1522936.

EMS was formed to offer commercial and residential clients in the state of Florida our expertise in making sense of all the technology and all of your options in this important alternative energy field. We offer state-of-the-art field-proven solar power and energy saving solutions. Our principals have over 25 years of construction technology background and have studied and utilized the latest solar power and energy saving solutions.

Written by Angela Christu