By Ron Maurer
Let’s talk about net metering.
A lot of people have asked me this question; “What is Net Metering?”
In effect, Net Metering is the policy that really enables you to put your roof to work by adding solar panels.
There is a policy across the United States, minus a handful of states, that says: for every kilowatt hour that you put into the grid, you will receive a credit for that kilowatt hour, as you should. It’s your solar system that created that energy out of thin air.
Some utilities offer a credit-to-credit exchange (United Power), while others (XCEL Energy) offer a kWh credit-to-dollar exchange at the going rate they would have charged at the time it was created.
Now, credits can only be spent on future electricity use with most utilities. In other words, “you couldn’t even buy an XCEL T-shirt with your credits if you wanted one”. This goes for other products the utility sells like gas. Just to be clear, we are talking about electricity here.
For example, if your solar system produces 10 kWh of energy and those 10 kWh go into the grid, that’s 10 kWh hours on the grid that you get back later. Note: This exchange is totaled up on your monthly bill, which includes some additional fees and taxes you already pay.
This is really important, because your solar system produces energy during the daytime, but you use energy at night as well, right?
So, how it works is that during the daytime you put a lot of energy into the grid and actually rewind your meter so you’re banking all those credits. Then at night, you pull that energy off the grid. You use most or even all the credits that you accumulated for the day. The net is banked for you by the utility.
That’s what net metering is and it’s a really effective policy that is in place across most of the United States.
Why is it called “Net Metering”?
Because it is the net amount of kilowatt hours used beyond what your solar system produces -or- the net surplus of kilowatt hours you get credit for after using what you need, that is either rolled forward month-month and year-year (credits). -or- The net you are charged for on your monthly bill as extra power that you needed above any credits you had banked.
This is all reflected on your utility bill (post-solar) via the functionality of your new “Net Meter” installed by the utility once your solar system is installed. You’ll also have access to Solar Production Monitoring via your “Production Meter” your solar installer hooks up during the installation.
Note: The actual net meter replaces the one you have now, which does not have the ability to “run backwards” or track how much power your mini roof-top solar power plant is producing for the utility. The new net meter does track this and you are the beneficiary!
Basically, that’s Net Metering in a nutshell and it’s an amazing policy. It’s a policy that all consumers and advocates for clean energy have to continue to fight for, so we can continue to add more States and utilities to the mix.
It’s a really fantastic policy that gives you the ability to use the grid as your own virtual battery. Yes, it’s really cool that we’ve got the grid to use as a battery thanks to net metering.
I hope you found this information useful in your understanding of and search for the truth about solar.
Please feel free to reach out for more information or to request a free solar energy assessment by scheduling a Discovery Call with Ron here: https:// calendly.com/ronmaurer/solar-discovery-call
Be sure to mention Sustainable Broomfield or use the group’s Solar Ambassador link so Powur can support the community with a donation for each new member solar system installed.
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