What Is Net Metering?

Mar 15, 2021Solar0 comments

Connecticut currently has net metering, which is great news for you. At its heart, it recognizes the value of excess solar electricity that is being fed into the grid. Here are some questions we receive about net metering:

What is net metering?
After your solar system is installed, your utility company will replace your old meter with a new bi-directional one. When your system is producing more electricity than you’re using, it feeds electricity into the grid. Your meter will run backward and credit your account for the excess production. When you draw electricity off the grid at night, on cloudy days, and at other times, you reduce this credit. Each billing period you will be billed for your net energy use.

Does net metering impact the size of my solar system?
In a way, yes. We size your system to meet your annual electricity use. That way, you’ll build up a bank of credits during the sunnier months (April thru September) and draw it down during the darker months (October through March). Ideally, your system’s excess production will offset your draw so that on March 31st (when the net-metering year ends), your excess credits will be a little positive. If you’re system is too big, you’ll earn too many credits and have to pay taxes on any cash-out amount over $600.

How does net metering help the environment?
Net metering helps the environment in two important ways:

  1. It rewards people for installing a solar system and using its clean, renewable energy.
  2. The excess electricity produced by solar systems helps smooth the demand for utility company electricity on hot summer days. That means less coal, oil, and natural gas are burned to produce electricity.

Does net metering have any other benefits?
It does! Net metering increasing the demand for solar systems and that translates into jobs for installers, electricians, and people who design and manufacture the components of a solar system. The solar industry currently employs about 250,000 Americans. The coal industry employs about 50,000 miners. Oil and gas extraction employs about 165,000 scientists, engineers, roustabouts, and wellhead pumpers. FYI, the Kentucky Coal Museum is powered by solar!

If you have any other questions about net metering or going solar, please contact us to speak with one of our solar consultants.