Last updated on June 25th, 2019
What is ‘Behind the Meter’
Behind the meter refers to a renewable energy system that is designed for a specific building or residential home. A behind the meter system operates completely autonomously from grid. Trends in behind the meter systems have recently grown thanks to the large demand for intermittent resources such as solar and wind.
Examples of Behind the Meter
A behind the meter (BTM) system operates as a large uninterruptible power supply (UPS) within a building. It helps charge its batteries from renewables and buys any extra energy as needed from the grid. These type of systems help directly reduce the amount of energy purchased by the building which is estimated to cut electricity bills costs by 80%.
A BTM system is ideal for owner-occupied buildings that consume much energy and poses more challenges for tenant-occupied buildings since it requires the building owner to agree with each tenant for additional meters.
Some of the most fundamental components of BTM systems include:
- A solar array that helps capture energy from sunlight.
- Some wind turbines to help capture the wind energy.
- Behind the meter storage system to store electricity from the RE components and any other that is bought from the grid.
- A control system to help manage the production, storage, and delivery of the electricity.
A BTM system in a building has a single source of energy that is, the grid, excluding backup generators. Since the building is limited to a single source, it poses several disadvantages since the owner must accept:
- The price structure is imposed by their jurisdiction.
- Brownouts happening in the location.
- Blackouts that location experiences.
- Random and damaging power ‘spikes’ that can affect or even destroy electronics.
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Read more about behind the meter systems in our education breakdown of what BTM truly means.« Back to Glossary Index