Net metering allows you to get a credit from your utility company for the energy you produce with your solar panels that you don’t use. In Florida, most major utility companies offer net metering, including Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, TECO, Gulf Power and more. Even smaller utilities like Lakeland Electric are now offering net metering.
How does net metering work?
If you have a photovoltaic system on your roof or as a ground mount, you will be generating much of the electricity you use to power your home. In fact, if your system is designed for a 100% energy offset (where you make all the energy your home needs to operate), your system will be designed to produce double the electricity you need during the day because solar panels don’t make power at night.
With net metering, that extra energy you generate during the day is sent back to the utility through a bi-directional meter (replacing your current meter with a bi-directional meter is one of the final steps in your installation process). You can actually see the arrow running backwards on your meter, showing that you are sending energy to the grid. As this happens, the utility is “banking” credits for you and using the energy you made to power your neighbors’ homes. At the end of the day, you will only be charged for any “net” energy usage you have consumed or you’ll receive a credit for any “net” energy you have provided to them.
How net metering saves you money
Net metering allows you to produce enough energy to power 100% of your energy needs by allowing your system to overproduce during the day and pull energy from the grid at night. Generating your own electricity with a solar PV system is cheaper than buying from the utility, and as utility rates increase, you won’t be affected.
Some people wonder, can I make money with net metering? Unfortunately, net metering isn’t designed to allow you to overproduce and add to your income by selling electricity back to the utility. And they won’t cut you a check when you’ve had a particularly productive solar year, but they will issue a credit that will be applied to next month’s bill.
How do I know if my utility offers net metering?
Unfortunately, some utility companies see net metering as a lost revenue opportunity, and many electricity co-ops don’t offer it. Most utilities are realizing, however, that keeping up with energy demands in high-growth areas is a challenge, especially during peak periods, and rooftop solar can help. (Read cost-benefit studies done on a state-by-state basis). A solar consultant will be able to tell you if net metering exists in your market, or you can call your utility directly. Keep in mind, if your utility doesn’t offer net metering, you can still go solar! It just means your solution will be designed a little differently. A good solar consultant will customize a solution for your home, so don’t fall for typical mistakes like a cookie-cutter approach!
Will net metering allow me to have electricity in an outage?
No, it won’t. When the grid is down, your solar system is down, and that is for safety reasons. If you want or need to have electricity during an outage, you’ll need a battery storage solution. There are several options to choose from.
For specific questions about your home and needs, we invite you to speak with one of our solar experts. It never costs you anything to get a consultation! Visit our website at www.coronadosolar.net and click on “Request a quote” or reach out to us via our Facebook page.