In the last 18 months, Costa Ricans have been benefitted by a pricing model for net metering that enables them to generate and store extra sustainable energy in grids.
In 2016, the Environment and Energy Minister (MINAE) created a program that allows consumers to purchase solar panels or another kind of green energy systems. Additionally, this eco-friendly plan helps people save money on bills. They only pay monthly fees set by the ARESEP, the Public Services Regulatory Authority. The tariffs are set individually for each home and company to ensure an accurate electrical interconnection.
The program makes it possible to store up to 49% of energy for personal use. It also promotes the use of green energy and bill reductions which definitely helps companies and households counterbalance their production and costs.
Representatives of MINAE have stated that this energy distribution system will reap fruits over time. They don’t charge for the energy produced but by the stored one.
When the program was still in its infancy, some companies started by making a list of the first 50 candidates interested in this new energy system. It is necessary to meet a lot of requirements to have this service. The National Power and Light Company guarantees the good distribution of the energy through a painstaking feasibility test.
The Costa Rican Electricity Institute created its own list of customers. Right now, thousands of people enjoy this program that provides 11 megawatts to many homes and businesses. Some of the first enterprises that took part of the project were Banco de Costa Rica and Florex. On the other side, Liga Deportiva Alajuense chose to substitute electrical energy with the solar one to power the lighting of their facilities.
The service currently costs 29 colones, but it depends on the provider.
ASEREP charges 90 colones per kilowatt. MINAE provides the storage service for up to four weeks.
The feasibility study must be necessarily paid to be eligible for this technology. In addition to this, customers also have to pay a monthly fee for the inspection and extra services.
There are, of course, several choices to choose from. Purchasers can select any type of energy: hydro, wind, biomass or solar energy.
MINAE still hopes that other companies join this eco-friendly initiative.