Net metering is one of the most important ways in which solar panels can benefit you – and eventually pay for themselves. If you’ve got questions about net metering and its benefits, you’re in the right place. Let’s explore this subject in detail now.
Net Metering Allows You to Keep The Extra Energy You Generate
As the name implies, net metering is a utility billing strategy where the amount of energy you buy from the grid, and the amount of excess solar energy you generate are recorded separately – and then added together to create a “net” bill.
For example, if you use 800 kWh of electricity in a month from the grid, either at night or when it’s cloudy, but your solar panels generate 600 extra kWh of power which
Where it’s available, net metering also allows you to sell excess power back to the grid at market rates. If your panels generate 800 kWh of power in a particularly sunny month, and you only use 400 kWh of power from the grid, the power company owes you for 400 kWh of power.
The Benefits of Net Metering
Where it’s available, net metering has a number of benefits for consumers who install solar panels. Here are just a few of these benefits.
- Reduces electricity bills – Most obviously, net metering can help you reduce the cost of your monthly power bill dramatically. In sunny areas, a larger solar panel installation may even allow you to generate much more power than you use, allowing you to profit by selling this power back to the grid at market rates. Regardless, this helps mitigate the cost of installing solar panels – and eventually will help the system pay for itself.
- Eliminates the need for batteries – Investing in batteries is very costly, and can make the process of setting up your solar system more difficult. But in areas where there is a reliable utility grid and net metering contracts are required, there’s no reason to invest in batteries at all.
Why? Because you can simply feed the power you generate into the grid, and you’ll be credited for it on your power bill. Then, these credits can be used to supply your home with electricity – for free or at a dramatically-reduced rate – when the weather conditions aren’t good enough to generate enough power, or at night.
- Most of your power will be generated during peak hours – Peak power consumption periods usually run from 9 am to 9 pm. Coincidentally, this is when the sun will likely be the most intense, and provide the most power to your solar panels. That means you can benefit from higher peak power rates, as your power will be sold back to the grid at a higher cost.
And, because most of the energy you consume from the power grid will be used during the evening and early morning hours when the sun is not out, you’ll benefit even further, as the power you use from the grid will be sold to you at off-peak rates.
Find Out If Net Metering Is Available In Your State!
In many states, net metering is required from utility companies by law, but even in states without net metering, solar feed-in tariffs and other systems can make solar power very financially beneficial. So take a look at this page now, see if net metering is available in your state, and consider the benefits that solar panels may have for your home.