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Is this a subpanel?

Mark P

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The home has a ground source (geothermal) heat pump. The local utility gives a discounted rate for the electricity used by the heat pump so a meter is installed in the basement for just the heatpump. Outside there is another mete for the rest of the house. The power runs from the main panel to the inside meter then to the panel used by the heat pump.

My question is "Is the small panel a subpanel and needs to be wired as such, or does the presence of the meter somehow NOT make it a subpanel and it is ok to keep the ground and neutrals on the same bar"?

Just an odd thing I dont see often and is making me question myself.

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What you are seeing is referred to as "sub Metering". The exterior meter is the main meter for ALL electricity used. The submeter records the amount of electricity the geo system uses . This is the credit amount provided to the utilities customer.

The presence of a meter does not make it a service.The service stops at the systems main breaker. In this case that is in the larger panel.That small panel is a sub panel and shall be wired as such.

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