Home solar power benefits can include even more value to some homeowners who qualify for the U. S. Federal Net Metering program. When it comes to regulations, the U. S. electrical grid is considered to be one of the most highly regulated power networks, but is identified to be one of the least sophisticated. For anyone who is connected to the power grid system, it is very easy to buy electricity.
However, what if you have a renewable power generating system (say a solar power system) and you are able to generate more electricity than you are able to consume?
Can you sell it?
In essence: Yes, you can, with the use of what is known as the Net Metering program.
Net Metering Home Solar Power Benefits
What is Net Metering?
This program allows an eligible user of a renewable energy source-harnessing system, like that of the solar power system or the small wind energy system, to create an interconnection with the power grid. In this setting, the user can send the surplus energy generated from their home into the power grid system and reap additional home solar power benefits.
How Does it Work?
For example, as a user of solar panels or a photovoltaic system, if you are not able to generate electricity and require the power grid energy for your home, you will see your electricity meter moving forward as usual. When your photovoltaic system begins generating electricity again and you utilize this system, you will see that the electricity meter stops.
However, if you continue to produce energy and you start producing more than you can consume, you will see that your electricity meter is moving backwards as electricity is returned to the power grid system.
How Do Homeowners Benefit?
The federal law requires the utilities to compensate you for producing and returning energy back to their system. This provides additional home solar power benefits that can include payments for your excess electricity. However, do note that some rules may differ from one state to another and currently not all states have this program. As of today, there are still four states that do not have it.
This can be very beneficial to those who do not own a storage battery system as part of their photovoltaic system. However, the power grid is not required to keep your excess energy forever, thus it will not have to carry over your credits from year to year.
Usually, you will see an annual calculation of how much electricity you consumed from the power grid and the amount you’re able to return with the charge for the net amount of energy you used.
For example, if in a 12-month period you consumed 500 kW of energy from the power grid but were able to return 350 kW of surplus energy, then you will only be charged for the difference of 150 kW of energy.
However, if you even out or are able to feed more than you consume, then you will not be charged for anything. Remember that you cannot carry over the year’s excess into the next year.
Home owners usually do not have to worry about purchasing a specialized meter for this. The normal electricity meter you have when you had your power grid lines connected will do the job.
However, there may be exceptions should your utilities require that you have a separate meter for the incoming and outgoing electricity.
The Net Metering program is easily administered and has a low cost, which can encourage more people to invest in renewable energy systems.
If you would like to participate in this program, make sure to check with your local authorities in order to better understand the requirements set within your state.