Net metering occurs when your electricity meter actually sends you the amount of power you generate over time instead of at the end of the month. This method allows you to receive credits or “pool” these amounts, which you can then use to offset your utility bills. In this way, you receive the highest credit amount per period. The amount credited to your account will vary by your utility. Still, in most cases, customers can receive up to 40% more per period than they would receive if they purchased electricity directly from their electric company.
How does net metering work? Net metering is an energy billing method that allows customers who generate any or all of their electrical power to immediately use that power whenever it’s generated, rather than only when it’s produced. This is especially important with solar electricity and other renewable energy resources, which aren’t completely disbursed, regardless of how much power is produced. In this way, net metering can allow you to effectively curb your usage at peak periods while reducing your impact on the environment.
In addition to helping to reduce your monthly utility bill, net metering allows you to make more savings on your overall energy consumption. If you produce more electricity than you use, you can either offset it with your utility company or sell it to another renewable energy storage provider. If you produce less electricity than you use, you can offset it with your utility. Or, you can even sell your excess electricity back to the grid, depending on the system that you’re using. You may also be eligible for state and federal financial incentives to help offset the cost of using solar panels and other renewable energy storage.
Net metering is a way for solar panel owners to receive electricity from the grid even as they pay for the extra electricity themselves. It’s quite simple: the more electricity that you produce, the more you pay for the service. And because your actual meter is attached to the solar panel, the more you generate, the more you pay. But when you offset the excess electricity you use with the production of electricity, you can actually offset a percentage of the cost of the electricity.
In its most straightforward form, Net metering is a contract between you, the homeowner, and the utilities. (Nemesis utilities are companies that are acting in opposition to the objectives of your interconnection agreement.) In exchange for net metering, the utilities agree to buy back your surplus electricity from your solar panels at the retail rate established by you. If you produce more electricity than you need, you don’t have to pay for the surplus electricity; the utility company pays back the amount that you agreed to purchase from them. In this way, net metering can help you both save money and protect your solar energy system against the rising costs of natural gas and electricity.
However, not all interconnection agreements with utilities are based on net metering. In some cases, a utility company may actually pay you for the excess energy that you generate. The idea is that you’ll have paid for the energy that you use regardless of whether or not it’s actually sold to the utility company. However, if the excess energy never actually reaches the electric company, the net meter results in a loss for the utilities. They have to buy back the excess power from you, and that’s usually at a higher rate than the retail rate.
If you’re interested in learning more about solar net metering, contact your local utility company. In some states, your electric provider will allow you to install solar panels and call yourself “solar net metering certified.” This means that you can actually write off the excess energy that you generate and that your solar panels can generate energy into energy credits. It’s a great way to get started, and it may be the answer you’re looking for to help you save money on energy costs.
If you don’t live in one of these states but have solar panels installed, you might still want to check the net metering. Find out the meter charge for your area and how much energy you’ll be eligible for. Then, contact your electric provider. Please find out about their various options and what they offer in terms of offsetting your costs. You may be able to use net metering to your advantage.