Solar Utilities: How Solar Panels Work Pt. 3
Solar Utilities an Net Metering
In of How Solar Panels Work Part 1 and Part 2 (Solar Panel to Outlet) we discussed the theory of solar power and the technology that has grown in order to make residential solar a reality, but that is just the technology. What really makes solar possible for all home owners is the link between policy and economic feasibility. The technology was ready more than 30 years ago. It was only after materials and methods became more affordable that solar began to intrigue the early adopters.
Here enters solar utilities
Solar Panels produce enough electricity to power households and businesses everywhere, the only hang-up is that when the sun goes down it takes the energy with it. And battery storage has only just begun to meet the price demand of residential and commercial sectors. (and is rapidly improving) Because the solar panels produce so much more than the typical household would need during a weekday there needed to be a place for it to go, and out into the grid was the logical place to put it. When you bake too many cookies you give them to your neighbors (hopefully) why not do the same with electricity? This process is called “net metering”.
Net metering describes the way that a solar owner is charged for the electricity that they use and deliver to the utility. During the day when your system is producing, all of the excess electricity generated goes out through your meter and into the grid. This process makes the meter run backwards, so you’re being credited the energy that you deliver. When the sun goes down and the system is not producing you begin receiving power from the utility again, with the meter running forward once again. At the end of the month you are charged for the net difference of all of that back and forth. Net metering also plays a part when the sun isn’t out as much in the winter. Your net difference from the summer months carries through that lull in production as well.
There you have it, a crash course in everything solar. But there is still much more to learn. We hope that this introduction will answer any preliminary questions you had. Going solar has never been easier or more profitable, but beware, Net Metering 2.0 could change all of that. So if you have been on the fence and are uncertain of your options we’re happy to provide free consultation so that nobody is afraid to go solar.