Home Solar Power System: Net Metering

Published September 2013 by

The benefits of having a solar power system in your home are huge. Although the initial investment can be a bit pricey, it’s well worth it for the amount you’ll save in the long run. Since electricity rates are only going to increase over time, the amount you keep in your pocket after the initial investment in solar can be substantial. After the system is installed, it could theoretically pay for itself by the end of its first year of service.

Beyond just the money saved there is a system called net metering that will allow you to save energy credits for when you generate more than you use.

How does this work? Well, your utility meter will read both energy coming into your system from the grid and energy you put back into the system. Whenever your system generates energy you don’t use it can be put back into the system. If you run a surplus the utility company can either pay you for the energy or add a credit to your account. So, if the next month you use more energy than you expect, like on powering a huge party, the credit will be put toward your utility bill.

Some companies offer net metering and others just pay out yearly.Check out your utility contract to find out if you can use net metering, and if so see if your credits will roll into the next year or if you are paid out for bonus energy at the end of the year.

Monetary Payouts

  • You receive either monthly payouts or a yearly check for the amount of extra energy your system generates
  • You can see incremental or lump sum results of your system powering the grid
  • Not a reliable, consistent source of income
  • Doesn’t pay at a premium

Utility Credits

  • Automatically creditied to your account and can be applied to your future utility bills
  • You must know how your contract is setup to see what you can expect in credits or payouts
  • Likely to get a better price because crediting reduces utility company overhead

If the benefits for both your bank account and the environment sound tempting, you don’t have to work out the details of installing the system or setting up contracts on your own. You can hire a company to assist with the entire process, from choosing the size of the system that best meets your needs to performing the installation process. Additionally, solar services companies have experience setting up net metering contracts so they can guide you in the process and recommed what is best for you. With their assistance, the transition will go much more smoothly for you than if you tried to tackle it alone.

You can still be involved in this process as much as you like, but that kind of help will allow you to spend more time enjoying your clean, efficient energy and less time fussing with legal language or payout system rules.

With modern technology just a phone call away, why wait to install and setup solar power systems with net metering? These could be the key to your energy future.

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