Understanding Net Metering
Net metering Explained
In may places and with many utility companies, net metering agreements are available to their customers that have solar panel systems. This called net metering. Solar homes that are tied to grid have a bi-directional utility meter that allows energy to flow into the house from the grid. It also allows the home to send extra energy out to the grid. This extra energy is generally sent out during the day when you are producing the most electricity and it flows to other utility customers. When energy is flowing out to the grid, the meter runs backward and at the end of the month, customers pay the difference, or get credited the difference. Below is a good representation of net metering using an image from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory*.
Not all utilities offer a one to one value for electricity purchased and electricity exported. Some offer partial value, others wholesale +, and others no program at all. Talk with our local representative to find out what is available for you. If no net metering is available or the credit is unfavorable, you can size a smaller system to minimize any export or install a solar battery to store you extra power from the day to be used at night or if the grid goes down. Without a battery a grid outage will cause your solar system to shut off. Learn why and learn more about solar backup battery storage next.