Utility Billing with Solar Panels

Net Metering Lowers and Changes Your Bill

Part 2 in a Discussion of the Solar Consumer Protection Guide

Unless you install a home battery, your solar panels can only provide electricity for your property when the sun is shining. Therefore, you still need to be connected to the utility grid to receive power in the evenings and on cloudy days. How do you pay for the power you actually use, after you installed a photovoltaic system with Solaron of Sacramento?

How Net Metering Works

When your solar panels are producing excess electricity (more than used by your property), the extra power is sent out to the utility grid to power other homes and businesses. You receive a credit for this transmitted power. The process of figuring all this out is called Net Energy Metering (NEM). When your home needs electricity to meet demand, you still pay for that electricity. Depending on whether you sent out more electricity than you used, your monthly utility bill will show either a credit (“payment” for your excess power generation) or a debit (what you owe for electricity used).

How Net Metering Changes Your Electricity Billing

Even with solar panels providing a large part of your power, the utility company requires at least a minimum payment every month, basically to cover various taxes and fees. Yet, when you participate in net metering, your total bill is not due until the end of a one-year period. At that time, your bill for electricity used becomes payable. If you produced more electricity than consumed used over the last twelve months, then you receive a credit payment.

If you don’t end up with a credit, paying once a year can result in a rather large bill, even with solar panels providing a good part of your electrical demand. For this reason, you can opt to pay your bill on a monthly basis, much like you did before. Since the bill should still be much lower than what you previously paid, you will see a monthly increase in your available funds. Let Solaron know ahead of time which payment system you prefer, so that it can be set up accordingly with your utility company.

Contact Solaron if you have questions about net metering and how it would likely affect your annual utility payments.

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