FTE Solar will rent the roof of the host site for a price generally between 35 and 50 cents per year per square foot for a period of 20 years. Additionally, FTE Solar evaluates the balance between the amount of electricity to be generated at the Host’s site and the amount consumed by the Host Company. Depending on individual circumstances, the Host could save as much as 15% on its annual electric costs, in addition to receiving roof rent payments.
With net metering, electricity prices are identical whether flowing to or from the utility. As stand-alone generating facilities, FTE Solar’s installations typically have net metering credits with their utility companies each month. Uniquely in Massachusetts, it is possible for FTE Solar to direct its credits to any other customer of the same utility. Effectively, this gives FTE Solar the chance to send our solar electricity, at a discounted price, to a number of possible customers. We can benefit a building owner through rent payments, even if he uses no electricity, and we can benefit an electric consumer through discounted electricity, even if he has no space for generation facilities. A building owner who uses electricity can gain both benefits at once.
Most states have enacted “net metering” rules for solar electricity generators and utilities. Solar installations usually generate a surplus of electricity during sunny days, but little or none on inclement days or at night. Net metering stipulates accounting and billing for electricity on these accounts on a “net” basis so that surplus generation from long, sunny summer days can be netted against consumption on short, cloudy winter days.