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Photo of two men wearing hard hats and safety vests looking at a metal meter box within a cardboard box.

Byron Stafford, a Solar Decathlon organizer, and a Team Spain decathlete discuss the installation of meters for the Solar Decathlon 2009 net metering contest.

Solar Decathlon 2009

Net Metering

(150 points)

Solar Decathlon 2009 featured a Net Metering contest. Each house was equipped with a utility meter that enabled competition organizers to measure how much net energy the house produced or consumed over the course of the competition. Teams scored points for producing as much or more energy than they consumed.

The Net Metering contest had two parts:

  • Energy Balance — Teams received 100 points for producing at least as much energy as their house needed, thus achieving a net energy consumption of zero during contest week. This was accomplished by balancing production and consumption. At the end of competition week, when competition officials read the house electrical meter, it had to be zero or less for the team to receive 100 points.

  • Energy Surplus — Unlike consumers, who in most cases do not benefit from producing more energy than consumed, Solar Decathlon teams received up to 50 additional points for producing surplus energy over and above what they used during the contest week. When a team generated surplus energy, the house electrical meter turned backward past the net zero point to indicate a negative reading.