Borough Of Pemberton (a resident's perspective)

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Referenced Documents

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Buzalski vs GeoPeak Electric

GeoPeak Energy
 

geopeak commits Fraud


PEMBERTON BOROUGH FAILS TO COMPLY
WITH THEIR ELECTRIC CODE

Everyone should do their part to reduce their carbon foot print on planet Earth. The level of Carbon Dioxide is higher today than it has been in over 650,000 years. This is attributed to the rapidly increasing use of carbon based fuels. My contribution is a Solar system installed and approved by the Pemberton Borough on July 17, 2012. Since that time there has been a constant battle with the Borough over their Electric Code which states that they will purchase EXCESS electricity from a Solar system but prohibit reversing meters or NET meters.

After the inspector approved the system the Borough sent a lengthy contract expecting a signature. Having never been advised of this contract and given time to review it prior to installation, and finding fault with the terms and conditions, the agreement was immediately rejected. At the October Council meeting a revised and greatly simplified contract was offered. It was signed and returned to the Borough on November 4th. On December 17 the Borough electrician installed the second meter and connected the Solar system to the grid. Energy was finally being produced.

The system performance has been monitored constantly since it was commissioned. The data showed the Borough was taking all of the solar energy produced. They purchased it at 50˘ on the dollar. Consumption from the Borough remained unchanged. When the situation was brought to the attention of the Council they laid blame on the Installer saying it was their responsibility to use the energy before sending it to the grid.

Because the Borough was not interested in assisting their resident, the installer, GeoPeak Energy, took over and initiated a study over several months. There are two ways that the electric meters can be wired into the system. They can be in series or in parallel. The study found that when connected in parallel, all the energy produced is drained from the system before it can be used by the resident. When wired in series the output meter measured all the energy produced but the input meter registered 1.5-1.75 times more than the energy being consumed. The electric bill was much higher during the month it was configured in this way and there was no savings when connected in parallel.

The initial Borough installation had the two meters in parallel. When the GeoPeak Energy Electrician contacted the Borough Electrician he was instructed to wire the output meter in series. That resulted in the Borough measuring all the energy produced and increased the reading on the consumption meter. When measuring current it was clear that power was flowing back into the grid but the consumption meter is not designed to handle reverse flow and the readings from it were unreliable. The system has been shut down.

The Borough electric code clearly states that they will purchase the EXCESS energy produced and that a second utility grade meter will be installed for that purpose. The code does not define EXCESS nor does it specify how the meter will be connected. The results of the above study demonstrated that it is not possible for the Borough to meet the requirements of the Code as presently written.

The normal utility grade meter is not designed to function properly with reverse energy flow. Yet the Borough keeps it in the system. The Borough implies that the consumer is to use the electricity generated and that the EXCESS, going to the grid, will be purchased and not returned in kind, as is the normal practice with Solar installations. There is no practical way to accomplish the Borough’s objective. With either wiring configuration they measure all the energy produced and the resident gets to use none of it. EXCESS does not equal ALL.

The Borough Electric Department is not meeting the requirements of the Code. The Borough Code must define EXCESS. The Code must identify a proven method to measure Excess by installing an additional Billing meter or they must relax their restriction on Net Meters and connect the Solar system the same way everyone else does. It is clear that the Borough is fighting desperately to prevent the intrusion of Solar systems which will cut into the profit from the Electric Department. Their fear is that more residents will install solar to protect themselves from excessive rates.

It is also clear that the Borough is dependent on the profit from the Electric Department to offset their operating costs. Funds are being moved from the Electric Department Reserve and placed in the General Fund. Because the electric department does not fall under the Board of Public Utilities there are no restrictions on its operation. Therefore they can and do tax the residents through their electric bills. This is not fair to residents or to Non Profit institutions who are shielded by law from property taxes and who are paying the same excessive rates as the borough residents. Is it any wonder that the Borough is fighting desperately to restrict the impact of Solar in the community?

The recent elections changed the makeup of the Council starting in 2014. How will the presence of Bonnie Haines impact these issues?

Bruce T. Buzalski, Pemberton Borough