What is net metering?

What is net metering?Installing a solar energy system onto a property is a major undertaking for multiple reasons. While this type of system can help homeowners in Arizona, California and other states to save on energy costs at home, there are up-front costs to consider. In addition, in some climates like those in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and other states, there may be a concern that the system will not fully offset the regular cost of energy consumption in the home. Researching the options thoroughly can help homeowners to learn more about the benefits of home solar power systems. Through research, the term net metering will inevitably crop up, and homeowners will want to know more about what this is and how it can benefit them.

What Is Net Metering?
When a home solar power system is installed on a home in Arizona, California or another state, the system will produce energy that will offset the home’s energy needs. If the system is insufficient to fully meet all of the home’s energy needs, the home will then pull additional energy from the grid. When this happens, the home’s energy bill may be minimized by the solar energy system, but energy costs will not be eliminated entirely. Through net metering, additional energy produced by a home system that is not used by the home flows back toward the energy company. With many homes, there will be times when energy is pulled into the home from the grid as well as times when energy flows back into the grid. Net metering relates to the total net consumption of energy that the home uses. When the net figure is negative, the energy company actually pays the homeowner money for adding power to the grid.

How Realistic Is Net Metering?
Whether a homeowner lives in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York or another area, they understandably want to know how feasible and realistic it is to expect the utility company to send them a check each month. After all, the thought of having the energy company send a check instead of a bill can seem too good to be true. First, homeowners should be aware that some states have passed laws related to net metering, so homeowners should take time to research these laws before investing in a home solar power system. In addition, homeowners should research the size of energy system they need to install to save on energy as well as to benefit from adding power back to the grid. Clearly, a larger and more costly system will need to be installed to generate enough power to send power back to the energy company. Homeowners should calculate the numbers carefully to determine which size of system may be most cost-effective.

Net metering is an important concept for homeowners who want to save money on energy costs to understand. Through research, homeowners can better understand the pros and cons of an investment into solar energy.