Net metering is a term thrown around by solar energy companies and installers used to describe one of the many benefits of adding solar. Often times the term falls on deaf ears. The concept of net metering goes against traditional energy plans. However, as solar technology continues to advance and past consumers become producers the energy market is being forced to adapt.
Net metering can be described as a solar buyback program. By adding solar panels, you become an energy producer instead of a consumer. When you are producing more energy than you need that excess energy is sold back to the grid building up your energy credit. Credit that you, depending on your plan, either cash in at the end of the month and/or use when your production doesn’t match demand.
Like building up reward points, when you add energy to the grid that generation is tracked by your net metering provider. Then if you need to draw energy instead of being charged you first use the credit you have built up. Net metering is most often utilized by households without energy storage at night when energy production isn’t possible.
Even if energy storage is apart of your home or business solar solution, net metering plans are beneficial. All the battery adds is an additional layer of backup. After charging the battery, your excess production is then sold back to the grid creating the same credit as those without batteries.
Although net metering and solar are growing in popularity there are only a few companies offering Net Metering plans. Those are Green Mountain Energy, Evolve, Direct, Chariot, Griddy, MP2, Reliant, and TXU. Just like regular energy plans, net metering plans come with a variety of options to met different consumption and production demands.