Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. Many states have passed net metering laws. In other states, utilities may offer net metering programs voluntarily or as a result of regulatory decisions. Differences between states' legislation and implementation mean that the benefits of net metering can vary widely for solar customers in different areas of the country.What Is Net Metering?
Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on the home's rooftop, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home's electricity use exceeds the system's output. Customers are only billed for their "net" energy use. On average, only 20-40% of a solar energy system’s output ever goes into the grid. Exported solar electricity serves nearby customers’ loads.
Find out whatnet meteringis available from your utility and see what effect this has on the return you will get by installing a solar power system.
People who are new to how residential solar power works often ask these two questions:
Most grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) solar systems today have no way of storing the electricity generated by their rooftop solar energy systems to use later.That means when your solar panels produce electricity, it goes first to powering the lights, appliances and electronics in your home.
If your solar power system produces less electricity than you need or if you need energy when the sun isn’t shining at all, that power is automatically supplied from the utility grid.