What is net metering, and how much can it save you in energy costs throughout the year? The answer to the latter part of this question is roughly 100%. A well-designed solar energy system can do just that. In fact, net metering may not only save you money, it can generate cash as well.
A home that uses net metering via solar panels collects energy throughout the hottest, brightest parts of the day, and it sends excess energy to the utility company, which then pays you for it at the going rate for electricity in your area.
This is usually issued through a credit on your utility bill. At night, when the sun is no longer shining, the flow of energy reverses and flows from your utility company back into your home to power your appliances, hot water, and more. The flow of energy back-and-forth is consistent. In this way, your home is never energy starved, and all that energy that’s collected through the day isn’t wasted. This is called net metering, and it regularly saves savvy homeowners up to hundreds of dollars every year.
The Many Benefits of Net Metering
Net metering has tons of advantages — for you, for your community, and for your planet. While financial savings is a top priority for most who opt for a net metering system, there are many other advantages, too. These include:
- Helping to prevent depletion of natural resources
- Aiding in clean air quality
- Generating cash flow for homeowners
- Preventing energy loss from sending voltage to homes far away from the power plant
- Saving the utility company costs of installing, reading, and maintaining meters
Basically, net metering is an environmentally friendly method of maintaining household systems that makes life easier for everyone, from the homeowner who connects to the system, to the company who installs the solar panels.
Still, most utility companies would rather not take part in this solar incentive. But why?
Net Metering and Your Utility Company
Since the inception of this solar incentive, utility companies in America have fought against it, even to the point of trying to have it declared illegal. Partly, this is because power companies may lose money in the exchange of power. The exchange may also cause the utility company’s transformers to overheat and burn out at a faster rate.
Last, most utility companies argue that solar power actually increases energy costs for non-solar consumers. Because companies are required to pay a premium rate for the solar energy that’s collected, they must charge higher prices to non-solar homeowners to make up the difference.
Who Qualifies for Net Metering?
Thirty-four states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa offer some form of compensation through net metering. Other states, including New York, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois once offered net metering, however they’re in the process of transitioning to other forms of compensation.
Meanwhile, Arizona, Louisiana, Hawaii, Utah, Mississippi, and Georgia offer compensation through alternative programs such as tariffs and net billing. Lastly, Idaho and Texas have no state mandates to regulate net metering, however, it’s up to the utility company if they want to participate.
To discover whether you’re eligible to take part in net metering compensation, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). You should have a private solar energy installation at your place of residence that is less than or equal to 2,000 kW. And it should be powerful enough to meet some or all of your home energy needs. Contact your local utility company for specific requirements.
How Net Metering Benefits Participating Homeowners
Homeowners who opt-in to alternative power solutions and net metering benefit in big ways, regardless of how their utility company may feel. During the brightest part of the day, your home is collecting power from the sun. This is usually when your home is least active. Parents are at work. Children are at school. No one is using the dishwasher or running the hot water for showers. Your home would lose the energy it collects during these hours without using the solar incentive. But with a net metering system, your home can re-route this energy to your local power plant. You then receive credit for the energy on your next utility bill.
Later in the day, as your family returns home and your house powers up, the flow of energy is reversed. Instead of generating electricity, your home is now receiving it from the utility company. This lets you run electronic devices, take showers, watch television, and run the dishwasher to clean the dinner dishes. Therefore, you can think of this solar incentive as a way to ensure your home is never without energy. Furthermore, the credits you receive help offset the costs of the energy you actually use.
Ask ONIT About Saving Energy Inside Your Home Today
When you need a solar energy system for your home, we’re ONIT. Solar panels not only increase your home’s efficiency, they also raise its resale value. And with a complete net metering system from ONIT, you’ll save significant money on the costs of powering your home. Speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives today to find out more about what a net metering system can do for your family.
If you’re interested in solar power, we’re ONIT. Call us today.