Residential contributors. Until fuel cells or other distributed resources become mainstream, homes and small business will participate in the Energy Web via “Net Metering.” Special meters are required which can run forwards or backwards depending on whether electricity is being “sold” to the utility--or bought from them. (Homes could “sell” power through automatic curtailment exercises.) Net Metering could reduce bills for businesses and homeowners, while ensuring a steadier supply of energy for everyone. “Although net metering alone does not normally make home generation of renewable energy economical, it does bring such efforts somewhat closer to the break-even point. In sunny Hawaii, for instance--where the state government offers a solar-energy tax credit and the cost of electricity is especially high- net metering could make home solar-power systems cost-effective.” (Schneider, D., may 97, Power to the People. Scientific American p.44.)

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