Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to sell the electricity they aren't using 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 state legislation, regulatory decisions and implementation policies mean that the mechanism for compensating solar customers varies widely across the country.
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 their roof, 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 when 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, and this exported solar electricity serves nearby customers’ loads.
Net metering allows solar customers to generate their own electricity while not having to have energy storage on the property. This keeps the cost of going solar low while also alleviating stress from the central utility grid. During the day, most solar customers produce more electricity than they consume; net metering allows them to export that power to alleviate the grid and receive credits for the excess production of their solar panels. Solar panels generate electricity during the day, when the demand is high for electricity. When the utility grid is stressed from the electricity demand, the utility companies increase the price of electricity in an effort to decrease electricity consumption. With the increase in population and our growing dependence on electricity, global economic tensions, and an energy dependent United States has driven the cost of electricity through the roof.
Deregulated Utility Providers
If you're in a deregulated utility market you have the power to choose your own Retail Electricity Provider (REP). Most big electricity providers DON'T provide dollar-to-dollar net metering anymore. You are better off shopping with a smaller electricity provider that has a friendly, 1-to-1, solar buyback program. We recommend:● Almika Energy (1-to-1 solar buyback)● Chariot Energy (1-to-1 solar buyback) Reliant and Green Mountain Energy used to offer full net metering but in 2022, haven't been crediting solar customers dollar-to-dollar once their contract expires. If you use Green Mountain Energy or Reliant and haven't been compensated 1-to-1 on your excess solar generation, check out Almika or Chariot Energy and their solar buyback plans.
Regulated Utility Providers (Co-Ops)
If you live in an area that has a regulated electricity market, you do not choose a Retail Electricity Provider (REP). Instead, your municipal utility or electric co-op will handle both the supply and delivery of electricity to your home. So, the only electricity plans and solar buyback options you have are the ones offered by the utility company in your area.
Do you have questions about how solar works in your area?
Click the button below and we will walk you through any troubles as best as we can.
Utilities that oppose net metering policies may argue that they are losing revenue opportunities. They buy their electricity in bulk and when customers start creating their own electricity in their jurisdiction, it messes their buying margins. To compensate for their loss in buying margins they've been not compensating people dollar for dollar for their electricity credits. Installing a solar battery for your property will help you store your electricity on your property, without having to worry about the changing net metering policies in your area.
Does your Local Power Company Offer Net Metering?
Utility companies are changing their net metering policies and you need to understand how these changes can effect you.
Read Your Utility Providers Distributed Energy Manual Online
You can find your utility companies net metering policy by going online and searching for their Distributed Generation manual or by calling your utility provider and asking. If the net metering policies aren't favorable in your area and want to keep that energy then, it might be time to install a solar energy backup battery on your property.
Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. Net metering creates a smoother demand curve for our electricity grids and allows utilities to better manage their peak electricity loads. Net metering also reduces strain on distribution systems and prevents losses in long-distance electricity transmission. As great as this is for our community, it reduces the utility providers purchase margins on electricity, which is usually bought in bulk. The less power a utility provider buys in bulk, the more expensive it is. As a result, the utility providers are increasing the price of electricity and implementing unfavorable net metering policies for the average American. It's vital to educate yourself on net metering policy before installing solar energy. Check out your utility providers Distributed Generation manual for net metering policies in your area. If they aren't favorable then, solar batteries can help store energy on property before ever sending it back to the grid.