What is net metering? How it works, pros and cons

August 29, 2023

If you're interested in the world of solar power, you've likely come across the term "net metering".

It's a vital component of the solar energy system, facilitating the interplay between solar-powered homes and the broader electricity grid. This article offers a deep dive into net metering, exploring its functionality, benefits, and challenges.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a billing arrangement between solar energy users and their utility company. It credits solar energy system owners for the surplus electricity they feed back into the grid. Think of it as a two-way street where electricity can flow in either direction, depending on the user's requirements.

During sunlit hours, solar panels often produce more electricity than a home can use. This excess energy is supplied back to the grid, and the homeowner receives a credit against their electricity consumption. Then, at night or on cloudier days, when solar panels may not produce sufficient electricity, power is drawn from the grid, with the credits being used to offset the cost.

The Working Principles of Net Metering

Net metering might seem like a complex concept, but its principles are quite straightforward.

When your solar panels are producing excess electricity, that power is transferred back to the grid, and your electricity meter actually runs backward.

Conversely, when you consume more electricity than your solar system is generating, your meter records the net consumption from the grid.

The term "net metering" refers to this process. At the end of each billing cycle, you're charged for the net energy you've consumed, which is the total energy drawn from the grid minus the energy your solar panels have fed into it; however, the exact rate at which your utility company credits you is different in each state.

If you're lucky enough to produce more energy than you've consumed, your utility company might even compensate you for that surplus energy.

Pros and Cons of Net Metering

Net metering comes with both benefits and challenges that are crucial to consider when transitioning to solar energy.

One of the main advantages of net metering is its promotion of renewable energy use, reducing the carbon footprint and paving the way for a more sustainable future. Moreover, it can lead to significant savings on electricity bills and promote energy independence, freeing you from total reliance on utility companies.

However, net metering isn't without its controversies. Utility companies often argue that they bear the burden of maintaining the grid infrastructure while receiving less revenue as more consumers generate their own electricity. Additionally, policies regarding net metering vary widely by state, meaning not everyone can benefit equally from this system.

Wrapping Up: The Role of Net Metering in Solar Energy Adoption

In conclusion, net metering is an instrumental aspect of solar energy utilization, creating a reciprocal relationship between solar energy producers and the power grid.

While the system has its challenges, the promotion of renewable energy and potential for cost savings make it an attractive proposition for many.

If you want to learn more about net metering and how it might apply to you, fill out our quoting form and our friendly energy consultant will text you!

Fill out the form!

We will text you soon.

FREE Lion Prowler Power Bank

$49 Value
Lion Energy Prowler Power Bank
When you pay your deposit within 5 days of receiving your quote.  (Learn more)

FREE Lion Summit Power Generator

$499 Value
When you pay in full within 30 days of making your deposit.  (Learn more)
Still have questions?
Spending 60 seconds to fill out the quoting form will answer many of your questions. But feel free to contact us in any case!