Solar Panels Let You Share and Profit!
When you arrange for a solar panel installation, one goal is to supply you with enough electricity so that you don’t need much from the grid. But electrical use for homes and businesses in California varies – while you might use more electricity with your air conditioning, you won’t use as much when you’re away from home. Despite fluctuating usage, your solar panel system installed by Solaron keeps reliably generating electricity as long as the sun shines. Homeowners can store some of any extra electricity in battery storage systems, like SunPower’s Sunvault. But even with a battery system full of stored electricity, your solar panels keep converting sunlight into more electrical power. So, where does that extra, unused electricity go?
Benefit from Net Metering
One of the most popular aspects of solar power systems involves what a homeowner can do with that extra electricity. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), net metering is “a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid.” Net metering allows a homeowner to send measured amounts of electricity into the electrical grid, providing power for the rest of the community.
This unused power flows through the home’s power meter. Depending on how much electricity is pulled from the grid, the home’s electric meter “slows down” or even runs “backwards” as the generated electricity flows out instead of in. The local utility company charges the homeowner based on the meter reading. If the meter reads less than the previous reading, the homeowner receives the difference – typically as a credit toward the next bill or even as a reverse payment. (Not all meters or net metering programs operate this way, but one way or the other the customer gets what they deserve from the power company.)
By law, utility companies must settle this difference annually, but utility customers often request a monthly disbursement. A homeowner might receive a higher credit in summer months because the abundant sunlight allows their solar panels to generate abundant electricity. Winter months with gray clouds and less daylight allow for less electricity going into the grid, commonly resulting in less credit. Again, it depends on the actual amount of usage. Fall and spring, with minimal need for home heating or cooling, tend to be profitable times of year for solar panel owners, even with the reduced hours of sunlight.
Net Metering — It’s Right for Everyone!
Depending on your electricity provider, there may be restrictions to the size of your photovoltaic system, which could render net metering to an “even Steven” proposition when compared to your electricity usage. So it may not result in a solar electricity windfall like you’re expecting. No matter who the utility provider, however, the vast majority of our customers report that they enjoy seeing their bills plummet, not just because they meet their needs for electricity with solar panels, but also because they’re getting paid to help other households with their electrical needs too.
The best way to find out about how net metering can benefit you and your home is to contact Solaron for a free home solar analysis. We analyze your home and electrical usage, factor in the best available assistance programs, calculate the best size for your solar panel system, and test what advantages net metering would bring to your pocketbook. To get this information, please give our office a call or schedule an appointment online.