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Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

05/27/2016 9:33 AM

Hello

I want to connect a standby generator in building block with 20 apartment. Each apartment has its own Meter for utility power supply. Connection of the generator to the building will result on power supply from the generator to pass to the utility meter. Will the an electrical power from the generator be read by the Utility Meter?

with regards

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#1

Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/27/2016 9:37 AM

This depends entirely on how the generator is connected into the existing system. Contact a pro and have your installation designed properly.

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#2

Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/27/2016 10:09 AM

Meters cannot ascertain the origin of the electrons they see whizzing by, the electrons move so fast they can't check their IDs.

If you connect the generator to the lines ahead of the meter, then yes, the meter will read it and you will be giving the utility free money (free for them, not you because you will be paying for the fuel). But as mentioned, the fact that you had to ask this question is an indication of you not being qualified to attemp this. Hire a professional.

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#3

Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/27/2016 10:43 AM

If the connection is upstream of the meter: yes.

If the connection is downstream of the meter: no.

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#4

Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/27/2016 1:28 PM

What few pennies you will make while your "stand-by generators" are running will not even come close to covering your liabilities if there not wired and switched correctly As previously mentioned, Hire a Professional!

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#5

Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/27/2016 2:33 PM

Mainly, there will be an out-of-phase issue due to your generator not be latched into grid by synchroscope. This will make each meter spin faster than normal, and result in burning down the entire facility. You could not do a better job if you dowsed the entire block in gasoline.

Let me guess: You did not bother talking to the local utility about this bad idea before you went out and bought the generator?

Second guess: They told you it was forbidden to do it the way you want to, so you are ignoring their warnings and forging ahead anyway.

My take on the "right" way: In order to safely operate your stand-alone generator to supply the block of apartments, you would have to have a general disconnect that interrupts the utility supply to the entire block at once, then switch in your generator in its place, so that each client would be "metered" on your supply. By the way, I think this way is still dangerous and illegal, since you don't know what you are doing, and don't care that you don't know what you are doing.

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/27/2016 3:04 PM

Mainly, there will be an out-of-phase issue due to your generator not be latched into grid by synchroscope.

He did say it was a standby generator, which typically means it would not be on line with the grid.

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#23
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Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

06/01/2016 2:35 PM

Stand by for a light show...where's the popcorn?

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#25
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Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

06/01/2016 3:20 PM

He is welcome to stand by the generator, I will be out in the field somewhere.

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#6

Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/27/2016 2:58 PM

The incoming lines and meters belong to the electric utility company...It is illegal to use their lines and meters...The only thing you own is the can the meter is mounted in and the wiring after the meter....You would have to feed your power past the meter with a failsafe system that would preclude energizing both utility and emergency generator on the same lines at the same time....which would have catastrophic results...

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#8

Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/27/2016 3:29 PM

Going over some of your prior questions, I believe that you are a danger to society.

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#10
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Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/28/2016 5:14 AM

He's not safe around generators that's for sure.

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#9

Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/28/2016 3:50 AM

Not discounting all the common sense comments written above - about you arranging this connection, the practicality is that both the generator and the mains supply should not be supplied together. (simultaneously) Also, a standby supply should be connected AFTER the mains meter! (unless you want to electrocute a few linesmen with your free electricity.)

It is better to install a DP mains changeover switch, which can be automatic, of suitable rating and conformity where either the mains, OR, the generator, is solely supplying the flats. Anything else could lead to disaster, and likely sooner than later.

As advised above, please seek professional QUALIFIED help before attempting this installation.

jt

A woman goes to the doctor all black and blue. Doctor: "What happened?"

Woman says: "Doctor. Every time my husband comes home drunk on Bud, he beats me up, I just don't know what to do?"

Doctor then says: "I have a real good suggestion for you". Whenever your husband comes home drunk on Bud, just take a Mug of Hot Sweet Coffee and start swishing it in your mouth, but don't swallow it. Just keep swishing and swishing it until he goes to bed."

Two weeks later the woman comes back to the doctor looking fresh and lovely. Woman says: "Doctor that was a brilliant idea. Every time my husband came home drunk on Bud, I swished with Hot Sweet Coffee. I swished and swished, and he didn't touch me!"

Doctor: "Now, you see how much keeping your mouth shut helps?"

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#16
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Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/31/2016 8:38 AM

WOW. I would tell that to my wife, but I think I don't like black and blue discoloration of my own hide!

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#11

Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/28/2016 8:47 AM

You have received lots of answers to questions you did not ask.

But specifically "...Will the an electrical power from the generator be read by the Utility Meter?

YES - if connecting into the utility wiring at source or each apartment before the meter.

And NO - if connecting into the private wiring of each apartment after the meter.

But previous posts should be heeded because what you have in mind is likely to be 'illegal'.

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#12
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Re: CAN AN UTILITY ELECTRIC METER READ GENERATOR POWER SUPPLY

05/28/2016 9:15 AM

The most likely outcome is back feeding in to the utility given the information so far. Look at his previous posts about generators, he hasn't a clue about the implications of his actions.

A menace danger to society

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#13

Re: Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

05/28/2016 3:38 PM

Connecting a standby generator to an entire building is good engineering practice on condition that 1) the electrical installation is properly performed, 2) an interlock is provided that can prevent connection of the generator to the utility network and 3) the utility approves the deal.

I assume you suffer from utility power outages. Where are you located?

Yes, the generator supply will be read by the utility's meter.

Many countries allow this kind of connection. Some even require the utilities to cooperate. Of these, some will even require the utility to credit the customer for the power supplied from his generator, although the credit generally will be less than the utility charge.

Good luck,

Zvi

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#14
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Re: Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

05/28/2016 4:39 PM

IAW the OP, this is a stand-by generator. Are you going to be the poor slob that has to climb the pole, because of a power outage, not knowing some cheap SOB connected his "stand-by generator" directly to the mains so he can collect a few pennies more from his tenants??

The OP needs to hire a professional and do it right, so that you, "that poor slob lineman" isn't killed because of an improper tie-in!!

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#17
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Re: Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

05/31/2016 2:31 PM

di95401, please read what I wrote.

"Connecting a standby generator to an entire building is good engineering practice on condition that:

  1. the electrical installation is properly performed,
  2. an interlock is provided that can prevent connection of the generator to the utility network and
  3. the utility approves the deal."

Item no. 2 means that, for example, a double-throw connecting the building either to the utility or to the generator can and will prevent any all possibilities of utility mains receiving current from the generator.

For decades there are many thousands of standby generators in the world connected in this fashion and without incident.

What's your point???

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#18
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Re: Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

05/31/2016 2:47 PM

Why are there not two meters, one for the utility, and one for the local generator? The double pole, double throw switch could be down stream of the meters. There are far better "smart metering" options than what you portrayed here.

Every home generation system has to provide for utility outage disconnect to avoid back-feed, that is safety rule #1. In the early days of solar panels in Florida, this was not done well at all, and linemen were injured due to line back feed, so I am informed.

How is it the utility gets paid for kWh they did not provide, since the local generator is shown passing through the utility's meter? That makes nonsense. Then the slumlord charges the poor tenants twice? Once by the utility, and then again by the slumlord for operating his unreliable, dangerous piece of junk?

If I was one of these tenants, I would say that could mean it is time to break out pitchforks, tar, and feathers.

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#19
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Re: Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

05/31/2016 3:40 PM

James,

You are correct if you're dealing with a single meter, as in my sketch. However, I understand that in our case there's a single feed from the utility to the building and individual utility meters are installed at the entrance to each apartment.

Therefore, in order to bypass the utility's meters he would have to install a parallel feeder network within the building, placing a separate double-throw switch down-stream of the utility's meter at each apartment.

As I wrote in my first post, there are countries and authorities that do allow, and some even require the utility to credit customers for generator kwh supplied during a power outage. But that requires what you call smart metering if you want to apportion it among the tenants. Besides, the rebates will probably always be far less than fuel and upkeep costs for the standby generator power.

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#20
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Re: Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

05/31/2016 3:59 PM

At least we can agree the high cost of installing an individually metered system makes little sense from an engineering standpoint. The slum lord, and the utility need to work out the "kick backs" so the slum lord gets paid at least fuel costs for the integrated time on bill when the utility power is out and disconnected. The tenants in that case just pay their bill as usual, none the wiser, other than a couple of light blinks, and possibly clocks/computers (?) to reset. The slum lord would be required to have an outgoing meter (1) time and (2) power level being generated, (3)VARS, and (4) energy output integrator (that is reported each month to utility). Then the "fuel cost" can be remunerated to the slum lord.

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#15
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Re: Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

05/31/2016 6:02 AM

I think the best way is to connect a small changeover switch in each of the apartment.

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#21

Re: Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

05/31/2016 5:51 PM

You have had lots of answers. Pick the best one.

But first, here's an idea. Why not run a separate cable to each apartment with it's own meter and change-over switch. The tenant would only pay for power shown on each meter, but instead of your supply being there for stand-by, why not run it full time and offer your tenants cheaper power - and then they can switch to the utility supply when yours breaks down. How about that!

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#26
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Re: Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

06/02/2016 4:34 PM

My computer has just started to get some Global Spec/CR4 emails that seem to get hi-jacked by a progamme that takes me to a page asking me to click a message to confirm if it is my domain. It looks like a scam to me.

I have just gone back to get details from the 'rogue' page - but it has disappeared - and CR4 has popped up.

Has anybody else had the problem?

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#27
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Re: Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

06/04/2016 1:53 PM

Did it also ask you to put your generator ahead of your revenue meter too?

This is so the power company gets paid even while you are making your own power...

...seems legit

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#22

Re: Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

06/01/2016 2:09 PM

dmtonyole, here's an idea. Instead of pinching every penny out of you tenants, use your " stand-by generator" as a selling point?

"Our apartment complex offers "Free" back-up power during power outages"

You could increase the rents $2.00 a month to cover the cost of installing the equipment and fuel costs during power outages.

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#24
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Re: Can A Utility Electric Meter Read Generator Power Supply?

06/01/2016 3:12 PM

That service could be offered, but the offer implies nothing about being able to afford to do so. That depends on how revenue is lost to outage giveaway power. If outage is typically less than 1%, then it could be cheap enough, but then is the back-up generator realy worth installing?

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