Net metering is commonly utilized by energy companies nationwide as a response to the huge increase in sustainable energy clients. It is a type of billing which benefits consumers by allowing them to receive credit for the surplus energy their energy system produces at peak production. The power companies can benefit from net metering by receiving this “borrowed” excess energy to use during peak usage hours. Net metering is especially useful for solar energy users due to how drastically the energy produced by solar panels can vary throughout the day.
Net Metering Improves Upon Solar Energy Limitations
With solar energy, peak energy production usually occurs in the afternoon, when the sun is high in the sky and provides optimal energy to most of the solar panels on your roof. While the idea of using all that energy as it is produced is certainly an entertaining mental image, it’s hardly practical; imagine residential solar energy users on their own special “solar schedule” rushing home early, running all their appliances, and charging wireless devices before the sun sets. It’s not practical by any stretch of the imagination.
To avoid the predicament of wasted energy and antiquated electricity usage times for solar panel users, 41 states and the District of Columbia have enacted mandatory net metering rules. This allows surplus solar energy produced throughout the day to be transferred to the main power grid and “borrowed” by the utility company until the energy is needed by the homeowner later, at which point it is provided by the power company.
With net metering, you are only charged for the net energy you use each month. If you have a surplus of energy after a month, the savings is credited to your account and carries over into the next month. This is especially ideal for customers who live farther from the equator; they can use their energy rebates produced in the summer to make up for some of those short winter days when their system will be producing less energy.
Additional Benefits of Net Metering
At night, most Americans are paying for electricity from the power company to light their home, use their appliances, and relax in front of the TV after a long day at work. If you utilize a solar energy system with net metering, you can avoid paying more for energy during these peak hours. In addition, net metering is also beneficial to the consumer because it:
- allows customers to receive the real value of the energy they produce, without having to install a second meter or invest in additional energy storage.
- takes some of the pressure off the grid when homeowners and business owners produce energy, especially during peak consumption times.
- can power other homes off of the energy of one solar neighbor, since surplus energy is sent to other homes in the area first (instead of being sent to the grid).
- encourages consumers to play an active role in the production of renewable energy, which protects the environment and helps us preserve our natural resources.
- provides homeowners with more of an opportunity to be conscientious about their energy consumption, which often results in reduced energy needs.
- saves utility companies money on meter installations, readings, and other billing costs.
Getting started with net metering
To get the most out of net metering, you’ll need a custom designed solar energy array which will allow you to take advantage of the sun’s free energy. Cedar Creek Energy can work with you to ensure you make a sound initial investment; without an affordable energy system, any savings you’d receive through net metering would be a wash. Our company strives to provide each client with the highest possible energy savings.
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