Article by:
Nikki Chi
March 27, 2023
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Virtual Net Metering Policies Expanding Outside of CA

Virtual Net Metering (VNM) policies have been incredibly successful for multi-unit properties in California for years. Finally, other states have caught on to the benefits and are passing VNM policies of their own. Virtual Net Metering gives multi-unit properties the ability to fairly distribute solar energy. It provides property owners an additional net operating income, while also allowing their residents or commercial tenants to enjoy the benefits of solar from savings on their electric bill to reducing their carbon footprint. VNM has proven not only that it works and it makes sense, but also that it is a win-win situation for all parties. Ivy Energy is thrilled to see this policy finally expanding outside of California.

What is Virtual Net Metering?

You’re likely already familiar with Net Metering, which is the policy allowing single-family homes or single-unit properties to earn credits on their electricity bill for the excess solar power generated by their panels. Virtual Net Metering is essentially the same thing but applied to multi-unit properties. All of the energy generated by the solar asset feeds the grid, then the credits from the utility company can be equitably distributed between the property owner and residents. These credits translate to a discount on electricity, resulting in a lower monthly utility bill for everyone who participates.

The Benefits of Virtual Net Metering

As both an advocate for VNM and a solar billing software provider, Ivy has seen the benefits of Virtual Net Metering firsthand. Without Virtual Net Metering, a multi-unit property owner could invest in solar for a common area load, but not for sharing with their residents. This greatly limited the adoption of solar for multifamily and commercial real estate. Now, VNM has been working for years for the benefit of residents and owners. Some of the biggest benefits we’ve seen are:

  • Equitable distribution of solar energy and savings
  • Additional net operating income for property owners
  • Improved accessibility of clean energy
  • Opportunity to lower utility bills for low-income groups
  • Increases attraction and retention of residents and commercial tenants
  • Higher ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ratings
  • Solar assets increasing property value
  • Protects from rising electricity rates
  • Further reduces emissions and reliance on fossil fuels

VNM and Ivy Energy’s Virtual Grid

Multi-unit property owners using Ivy’s Virtual Grid platform generate $500 to $1200 per unit per year in additional NOI. This means that VNM policies combined with the power of Ivy Energy transform a solar system from a sunk cost to an income-generating asset. It is a key step in achieving sustainability and renewable energy goals, and it finally makes solar pencil out for multi-unit properties. If Virtual Net Metering is being considered in your state, explore our resources on the topic or contact our team with any questions.