How Net Metering Can Save You Money with Solar Energy?

Learn about the benefits of net metering for solar system owners and how it can save you money on your electricity bills. Discover how net metering works, its practical applications, and eligibility requirements.
How Solar Saves You Money

Exploring the Benefits of Net Metering for Solar System Owners

Let’s talk about Net Metering, what it is, what is the practical gain for you as a solar system owner, and what kind of benefit you can expect. Net metering comes in a few different forms from state to state and has a few major benefits.

Solar System Basics: Generating Electricity and Using Net Metering to Your Advantage

First, let’s review how your home solar system works from the perspective of a simple home with a battery backup. Your solar system produces energy during the day based on the intensity of sunlight exposure, the angle of that exposure, and the temperature of the solar cells. This electricity is generated at 12 volts like a car battery, but your home does not use 12v, it uses 120v so that voltage needs to be modified. This happens with a piece of equipment called an inverter. You could have one big inverter or many small ones, typically systems from our partners use many smaller inverters called microinverters right at the panel. This allows us to control the regulation of power at the individual panel level. Now in this example, we also have a battery, so during the day the battery charges and at night it discharges giving you, in theory, around-the-clock energy self-sufficiency.

Maximizing Solar Energy Efficiency: The Importance of Inverters and Batteries in Net Metering

In the real world, we have complications to consider. First, you will of course be connected to your utility grid as normal. You may have a cloudy or rainy day with low electricity production or even a few in a row that would deplete your battery so the grid connection allows you to always have power in any case, but what about producing more electricity on a very nice day when you aren’t home at all, would your energy be wasted? Thanks to net metering we are able to take full advantage of the electrical grid on both high and low production days. Net metering includes a piece of equipment called a net meter. This monitors the next electrical overproduction that is sent back to your electrical grid. On a high production day, you can bank your extra electricity in the grid like a piggy bank, and on a low production day, you can withdraw that banked electricity owed back to you with no additional charges for either the kwh or transport fees you would normally see in your electric bill. Thanks to net metering, you can treat your electrical grid almost like your own battery bank.

Harnessing Solar Energy: How Net Metering Allows You to Bank Electricity and Save Money

So in that case, why do you need a battery at all? This is exactly why you need to talk with a qualified solar design expert during your solar consultation to understand what you want and what you need to suit your lifestyle. Many homeowners think they need or want a battery backup but when they understand the practical benefits to net metering many opt to avoid the battery backup entirely. That’s not to say batteries don’t have their own benefits which we will discuss at length in a future entry. Just know that when you have access to net metering, it is something to weigh your options carefully against.

Are You Eligible for Net Metering? Understanding Requirements and Incentives

Understand this about net metering: not everyone qualifies. In most cases there is a limited solar carveout provided by your utility company which accounts for net metering, it is largely an early adopter incentive. Many states that once offered net metering incentives no longer will, with early adopters being grandfathered in with regard to their incentive programs. In some states there is a tight limit on who may qualify each year, so be sure to discuss the details with your design expert. If you are considering going solar with us, you are usually able to take advantage of net metering.

Conclusion: Embracing the Benefits of Net Metering for Your Solar Energy System

Net metering is a huge incentive that allows homeowners great flexibility in their system design and utilization, but it isn’t going to last forever. It allows a solar system owner to take full advantage of both sunny and cloudy days throughout the year with no added cost for a battery backup. Book a design call with one of our experts today and learn what you may qualify for.

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