If you use solar panels to generate electricity for your home or business, you’ve probably heard of net metering, but do you know how it works? Solar systems have become much more affordable over the last decade, and with a range of financial incentives and tax credits available, many people are choosing to use solar power and net metering for their energy needs. When you have a solar system you can opt in to net metering, but what exactly is it, and what are the pros and cons? Let’s take a look.
What Is Net Metering?
Net metering, sometimes called net energy metering (NEM), is when someone who privately owns their solar panels gives any excess energy generated to the electric grid. So if on a sunny day your solar system generates more electricity than your home or business can utilize, the excess electricity is fed back to the grid and the customer builds up a surplus. At night or on a cloudy day, they can draw on that surplus and get the power they need from the grid. Customers enrolled in this program are only billed for the net amount of power that they use, which in some cases means no charges at all.
To use net metering you must be connected to the grid, which the majority of people who have solar systems are. If you want to determine if you’re eligible to opt in to net metering, please contact your solar installer and they’ll be able to explain your local regulations.
The Pros of Net Metering
- Increased control over your energy bills. Once you start paying closer attention to how much energy you’re using on a regular basis, you can be more mindful about not leaving lights on when you don’t need them, or not leaving your hot water running unnecessarily.
- Reduced demand on the grid. Sending your excess energy to the grid means there is less reliance on non-renewable energy.
The Cons of Net Metering
- It isn’t available everywhere. Most states in the US currently mandate net metering, but not all of them do. That’s why it’s important to ask your local solar installer about the regulations for the state you reside in.
- It requires being connected to the grid. If you’re completely off the grid, you won’t be eligible for net metering. You must be connected to your local power grid in order to send excess energy to it.
For more information about how you can use net metering with your home solar system, or if you have any other questions about solar panels, please contact our team at Green House Solar today or visit us at: https://greenhouse.solar/