In our previous post about the types of solar power systems, we mentioned that net metering was an advantage. But that only applies if you have an on-grid or hybrid system, or when your solar panel is still connected to the power grid. So we’re here to explain more about it.
What is Net Metering?
When you install your solar panels, most of the time, you don’t remove your connection to the power grid. In an on-grid system, you use solar power during the day but regular electricity from the power company at night. But none when there’s a power outage. In a hybrid system, it’s basically similar. But because of the addition of batteries or storage, you can still use the power you generated from solar at night. If you use up either power, you may take from the power grid, as necessary.
Now, in either case, there may be occasions when you’re producing more solar power than you’re actually using. What happens to that excess power? It flows to the grid. In effect, you are supplying your utility company with additional electrical power which they can use to bring to other consumers. In exchange, you may receive credits for every kWH of power you send back. That is net metering in a nutshell. Every excess energy sent to the power grid gets some sort of compensation, depending on the State where you’re at.
Which US States have it?
The map below shows the current 40 states (+ DC) and the US territories that have a mandatory net metering policy in place. However, 5 of them, specifically Michigan, New York, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky, are currently transitioning to statewide distributed generation compensation policies. Utah, Arizona, Mississippi, Louisiana and Hawaii are currently implementing these very same policies. Additionally, US territories Alaska, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands also have net metering policies.
Also, Idaho and Texas currently have no statewide mandatory rules but some utilities allow net metering.
Congratulations to you, if you live in one of the remaining 35 states (+ DC) or in the US Territories. You live in a State that entitles you to receive credits for your excess power. Clicking on the map below will take you to the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) website for more detailed information.
If you’re interested in accurately computing your solar panels requirement, schedule a call with us and you’ll be on your way towards your solar panel journey.