Net metering represents the future of solar energy power generation for homes. What does the net metering system exactly consist of? How does net metering work in practice?
This concept comes directly from the United States. Minnesota was the first state to pass the law in 1981. It all began with the use of wind turbines and solar panels connected to the electrical grid. This method allows private households to use their own electricity from solar and other renewable power and to get credit for the excess power they send back into the grid.
How does net metering work?
Below some points of the real added-value of this system:
- It allows flexible and affordable energy consumption that was generated by renewable sources because you can use the electricity at different time or date than when the energy was generated.
- One can export energy to the grid when rates are higher and use energy when prices are lower, for example at night (if the utility allows for such kind of offsetting). By this mechanism if established by the utility, it is possible to get a credit even if you consumed more than you exported.
- When you consume less than the generation of the energy, the metering method measures how much surplus you sent back into the grid. This exported excess is “saved” and you get credit for what you have fed from your solar system back to the grid.
At the end of the month, depending on your consumption and how much your system generates, you can end up with a charge or a credit. The credit you accumulated for this month can then subsequently offset the charges of another month.
Advantages of Net metering implementations for the government:
- Foster green electricity at relatively low cost or no additional cost to public services
- Encourage mass participation of private and domestic consumers in green energy investment
- Stimulate further development and investment in green energy
- Create jobs (installers, electricians, manufacturers in the solar industry)
Advantages of Net metering implementations for households:
- Control their own electricity bills
- High amount of savings
- Increasing dependence on electricity rates
Tremendously raising electricity prices, willingness to reduce individual’s carbon footprint and higher flexibility explain therefore the promising future development of Net metering. Indeed, Net metering allows you to combine lowered electricity bills with a more responsible impact on the environment.