A Beginner’s Guide to Net Metering

One of the most useful developments in the solar industry has been the increasing popularity of net metering. Net metering is defined by the Solar Energy Industries Association as allowing “residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to sell the electricity they aren’t using back into the grid.” 

Because this has become so popular among solar customers, more and more information is constantly being released and searched by people looking to get the most out of their solar systems. We’re here to set all the details straight and explain net metering to you in a way that’s simple to understand; we want everyone who is eligible to be able to take advantage of the added savings you get!

How Does Net Metering Work?

Whether you’re just beginning your solar journey or you’re a seasoned professional, it pays (literally!) to know the ins and outs of net metering. In states that practice it, you can get more bang for your buck by saving an extra energy you solar panels produce and provide excess energy back to your utility company for credits on your utility account. 

Most homes and structures in the United States are connected to electrical grids that deliver them energy from power plants. Unless your house was specifically built to be detached from the grid and powered by an alternative energy source like off-grid solar, 

Some customers find that their solar panels are producing excess energy or that their home is using less than it once did, leaving them with a leftover source of electricity that’s going to waste. That’s where net metering comes into play –you can sign an agreement with your utility company to sell back any surplus and earn credits toward your electricity bill. This is a win-win for both parties because you are saving money on your bills while your provider doesn’t have to work overtime to provide energy for other customers because they are able to borrow yours. 

Additionally, if there ever comes a time where you are not producing as much energy as you should – whether it be due to inclement weather, a colder winter than normal, etc – you can use those built up credits to offset the extra cost of using more energy. When it’s been raining for several days in a row, your panels aren’t able to produce as much energy as it needed to power your home up to its normal standards, so you have to “borrow” it from the grid. This results in using up more energy which you would normally notice on your electricity bill, but not anymore! Thanks to those credits you earned by sending any excess energy back to your utility company, you will offset those extra costs and maintain your regular electricity payment. 

How To Know If You’re Eligible 

Now that you understand what net metering is and the benefits of it, you’re probably wondering if you qualify for this money-saving perk. There are a few requirements, the first being that you must have a solar panels system! If you already have solar, congratulations – you’re well on your way to saving even more with net metering. If you are looking to go solar, contact Renu Energy Solutions for a free consultation where we assess your home and the system that’s best for you. 

Benefits of Net Metering

There are so many benefits of solar energy in general, but here are a few that are specific to net metering:

1. It alleviates pressure on the grid.

The electrical grid doesn’t have to work as hard to share energy with customers because it’s able to borrow energy from homes with a surplus through net metering. Also, those who do produce and store their own electricity are able to use their excess energy in times of need, which allows them to not have to rely on the grid as often. 

Relieving stress from the electrical grid benefits both homeowners and utility companies because it makes it easier to distribute electricity to those who need it. For example, in the event of a heatwave, grids are often under extreme duress trying to keep up with the increased need for energy due to everyone cranking their HVAC systems. Thanks to net metering, solar customers who have stored their energy can power their own air conditioning and allow the grid to direct that electricity elsewhere. 

2. You have another way to access stored energy.

Typically, a battery backup system is the only way to access your energy surplus, in which you store the extra energy yourself. With net metering, you’re able to access the energy through the grid and the utility company, giving you another source to pull from if necessary. 

3. You save money!

This is the most obvious benefit – the savings! When the utility companies buy your excess energy, you’re earning credits that can significantly decrease your electricity bill. With these credits, you could potentially save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your solar system, eliminating your electricity bill altogether as long as your system is sized right for your home’s energy needs.

How Renu Energy Solutions Can Help

Going solar is a great decision for most homeowners and businesses, and including a solar battery backup system is a smart addition for the project. Renu Energy Solutions specializes in solar and battery backup installations — we’ve completed over 3,300 since our founding in 2010. 

If you’re a customer considering residential solar in North Carolina or South Carolina, look no further! Our experts at Renu can help you through each step of the process, from inquiring about which system would be best for your home, actually installing the system and panels, and any maintenance and troubleshooting long after the installation. 

For more information, give us a call or book a free solar consultation to get started! We look forward to hearing from you and doing our part to help you convert to clean, renewable energy.