When homeowners and businesses go solar, they think “How much money will this save me?”
The truth is, you can save money on your electric bill through a few different techniques. Net metering is one of those opportunities, and it is one of the most important factors for saving with solar.
What is it?
Net Metering is a billing mechanism which sells excess solar energy back to the grid for varying amounts of money per kilowatt hour (kWh).
Let’s break it down:
Solar owners don’t always use all the energy produced by the solar panels on their roofs, and net metering is the lucrative solution for that energy. Net metering allows the homeowner to sell that extra energy back to the utility grid. In exchange for the energy, the homeowner receives credit on their utility bill which they can use on a future bill.
When buying solar, the size of the system is determined by how much electricity the homeowner usually uses. This is to ensure that the solar energy produced will cover the electricity the home uses. But sometimes, mostly during the summer season, the panels produce more energy than the home uses.
How does this happen?
The summer brings increased amounts of sunlight because the days are longer. This increase in sunlight produces enough energy to power the home, including the air conditioning system, and still have extra energy left over.
Selling Back to the Grid
When it comes to the details of selling back to the grid, each state is different.
Majority of states have passed laws that mandate the use of net metering, while others have voluntary programs, through the utility companies, where the solar owners can choose whether to sell their excess energy.
For example, National Grid, a utility company operating in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York, conducts its own net metering program for solar owners in those states.
The price the solar owner receives per kilowatt hour (kWh) varies by state and their net metering laws, but with each summer month, the return is significant. Whether its $.13/kWh (NY) or $.19/kWh (RI), the savings are definitely worth the excess energy.
With net metering, this leftover energy is sold back to the grid and is used in place of fossil-fuel-based electricity. Net metering allows homeowners to bring solar to their own home and to the community all while saving money.
Net metering is a valuable saving opportunity that all solar owners should take advantage of.