Net metering allows you to offset your energy consumption from the grid with the energy production from your solar system. Most home solar PV installations connect to the electric grid (instead of using batteries to store energy on site). This connection enables others to use the excess electricity your system has generated while ensuring a seamless supply of electricity during times of limited production. With net metering, you receive a fair credit on your bill for the electricity you produce.
When your system generates electricity, that electricity is fed first through your home. It is used by your electronic devices, (lights, appliances, HVAC, etc.). When your solar panels produce more electricity than you need, the excess electricity is sent out to your neighbors, causing your electric meter to ‘run backwards’. In this way, you receive credit for the electricity you send out to the grid. If your system is producing less than your home requires, your meter will run forward.
It is common for PV systems to produce a surplus of electricity during certain times of the day, month or season. Any seasonal or daily surpluses are applied to the energy you purchase at night or during periods of low production. At the end of the billing period, the final electric utility bill is your total electric usage minus the electricity you produce from your solar panels.
How Your Solar Benefits Others
Rooftop solar generation provides local power when and where it’s needed most. This benefits all utility customers. As more homeowners invest in solar to ensure their energy freedom, they improve the resilience and efficiency of the electric grid for everyone.