Skip to main content

Customer Owned Solar Installation

Solar Installation Image

The customer-owned solar installation program, also known as net metering, is a customer-initiated plan in which solar panels or other renewable energy generators are installed at the customer's location and connected to the public-utility power grid. Surplus power is transferred onto the grid, allowing the customer to offset the cost of power drawn from the utility. NSBU is proud to offer our customers this option to help us partner with the community in an effort to promote the use of renewable energy sources.

But how does it work? Solar panels transform sunlight into electricity, but the electricity generated is called direct current (or DC) electricity, which is not the type of electricity that powers most homes - which is alternating current (AC) electricity. Fortunately, DC can be easily converted to AC by an inverter. Once the power is converted, it runs through the electrical panel and is distributed within the home to power the appliances. It works exactly the same as the electricity provided from the grid, so nothing inside the home needs to change. Since the home remains connected to the power company, it can draw additional electricity automatically to supplement any power shortages not supplied by the solar panels. 

On cloudy days and overnight, the solar panels may not be able to capture enough sunlight to use for energy; conversely, in the middle of the day when nobody is home, they may collect surplus energy - more than is needed to operate the home. That's why a meter is used to measure the electricity flowing in both directions - to and from the home. NSBU will provide credits for any surplus power sent back to the grid. This is net metering. 

Check out the solar estimator available at to determine the prices of solar providers near you after calculating the solar system your home needs. Please be advised, this website is not operated by New Smyrna Beach Utilities, and you are likely to receive inquiries from solar companies after sharing any contact information.


Solar Application Process & Frequently Asked Questions
NSBU encourages its customers that are applying to interconnect their solar to first contact the City of New Smyrna Beach or Volusia County to determine the permitting requirements. A city/county permit and approved installation plan set is required for NSBU’s application to be considered complete.

NSBU’s application process will require the following to be submitted to Lois at :

  1. Renewable Generation System Application
  2. Tier Agreement form – Do not fill in the date on the first page
  3. Engineering Plans – One line diagram showing: AC disconnect switch, UL1741 compliant inverter
  4. County/City issued solar permit
  5. Proof of homeowner’s insurance
  6. Payment of application fees

Net Metering Fee & Insurance Table (By Tier)


Gross System Size (AC)

Application Fee

Insurance Requirement

Tier I

10kW or less


Solar = $100,000 ; All Others = $1,500,000

Tier II

10kW - 100kW


$1,500,000 for all installations

Tier III

100kW - 2,000kW


$2,000,000 for all installations

*Documents 1&2 can be found at
*Note that there is a different form for each tier.

Upon successful net meter application review, NSBU will send a technician to visually verify that the paperwork matches the actual facility installed. 

Should I install solar at my house?

Only you can determine if it is cost effective to install solar panels on or at your home.  For many consumers it is more cost effective to create a more energy efficient home than to install a solar system.  Many customers feel that performing the financial calculations prior to purchasing solar panel installations helps in their decision-making.  The following references are aids in this process:

  1. Calculate the estimated solar panel installation’s energy production: PVWatts Calculator (
  2. Review our tariff:  net_metering_tariff.pdf (
  3. Use item 1. and 2. to estimate your annual energy savings

How do I transfer ownership of an existing solar installation?

To submit a request to transfer ownership, a tier agreement with the new owner’s name as well as proof of homeowner’s insurance must be submitted at

Do I get any rebates if I install solar at my house?

NSBU does not currently offer rebates or incentives for solar installations.  There are other rebates for energy efficiency items installed on existing homes which can be found on the NSBU website:

What does net metering mean?

A net meter is a bidirectional meter that tracks both production and consumption of energy for the customer.  Net metering is the process used for customers with an interconnected solar facility to earn credits for the excess solar kWh produced.  Peak solar production is typically midafternoon when many people are not home, the extra energy produced is credited back to the customer for use in the morning or later in the day.  If your system produces more than you consume, the overall excess credits are tallied at the end of the 12-month billing cycle and are paid back to the customer. 

When do I receive my credits for my new solar panels or net meter?

Your excess credits are paid to you annually based on your installation date.  For example: If you have your net meter installed June 1st, NSBU will credit you back the following June, 12 calendar months later in the form of a check.

Why is my net meter showing a lower value than my PV system?

A net meter only shows the excess power being sent back onto NSBU’s grid.  In typical residential installations, the majority of kWh’s produced by a solar facility are used locally at the home and does not flow back through the meter onto the grid.

Do you pay 1 to 1 for my net metering?

The NSBU pays the excess power received from residential solar facilities at the same residential customer kWh rate minus taxes and fees. Taxes and fees makeup approximately 12% of NSBUs residential customer kWh rate

Why do I lose power when the grid goes down?

This is a safety feature found on most solar installations.  This is in place to protect the line workers from being injured while fixing outages and is called anti-islanding protection.  Your installer should be able to discuss the options to prevent this.

Why do I need insurance?

Insurance will protect the homeowner from legal expenses in the scenario where a customer’s solar installation causes damage or harm to NSBU assets and/or personnel.

If you have questions regarding a solar installation at your location, please contact the NSBU Electrical Engineer Uzair Azam at or 386-424-3029.

Solar Program Documents

Net Metering Tariff (264.25 KB)

Solar Program Forms