The Basics of Net Metering for Solar DIY Installations Posted on 29 Jun 09:00

Net Metering

Net metering is an important aspect of solar energy use, as it can significantly impact your cost savings.

Solar DIY customers pay less for electricity each month because they rely on free energy from the sun to power their homes. The net metering process takes those savings a step further.

In fact, many photovoltaic customers actually end up with a net profit, greatly reducing the payback period on their DIY solar energy system.

What Is Net Metering?

When you design your DIY solar kit, it likely will be sized to meet a large percentage of your home’s energy needs. At times, your photovoltaic panels may even produce more electricity than you need.

This excess electricity is sent back up the electrical grid for use by other consumers, and you get paid for the power you’ve generated.

Net metering is a state regulatory policy that requires your utility company to pay you for that extra energy your DIY solar system generates. For many states, the amount that you are paid is equal to the retail rate for electricity.

It’s important to note that net metering policies vary from state to state, however. Learn more about your state’s policy by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy website, or check with your local utility company.

How Does Net Metering Reduce Electric Bills?

You are billed each month for the amount of grid electricity your household uses. When your DIY solar system produces extra energy, you get a credit for the amount you sent to the grid.

In fact, many solar customers enjoy a zero-balance power bill each month.

Some utility companies apply credits on an annual basis. They keep a running total of the amount of electricity you supply to the grid over the course of the year, then they use that amount to offset your power bill each month.

At the end of the power company's fiscal year, if you still have an energy credit on your account, that credit will be reflected on your bill.

How Do Solar DIYers Connect to the Electrical Grid?

Solar do-it-yourselfers must engage the services of a licensed electrician to complete the wiring portion of the installation so they can connect to the grid and get this benefit. You also may need an inspector from the local utility company to approve the work before you can start using your system.

Net metering is only one part of the overall cost savings you get by switching to solar energy. And when you install your solar kit yourself, your initial investment is reduced significantly.

Solar GOODs is the DIY solar superstore, with everything you need to design your solar kit or custom system. Visit us online today to learn more about how you can save significantly with DIY solar and net metering.