Net Energy Metering and You

Solar Power Home Installation

As the cost of gas and electricity rises, more and more people are considering purchasing solar energy panels for their home. Although solar power home installation does involve some initial expense, in the long run solar panels can help you save both money and energy. If you decide upon solar power home installation, you may be qualified for Net Energy Metering, or NEM. Eligibility  is based on where you live. Net Energy Metering is a special way to meter and bill your electricity use because it factors in both the energy you use and the energy you produce with your solar energy panels.

Normally, your electric meter moves forward when you use kilowatt-hours of electricity, and you are billed for what you use. When you have solar power home installation in use and are eligible for NEM, your electric meter moves both forward and backwards. It moves forward when you consume a kilowatt-hour, and it moves backward when your surplus electricity from your solar panels is produced and supplied to the grid. Your meter is read each month, and the net total of energy use is documented and you will still receive a statement.  If you produce more energy than you consume by using solar energy panels, your account will be credited and that credit can be used during winter months when there is less sun shine and the panels cannot produce as much energy as the summer months.  Understand that the matching the size of your system to your usage is important so there is value in watching your Solar Monitoring System to see how much energy is being produced to the amount of energy you are consuming.

For instance, during mid-afternoon is the time when energy production from solar panels is the highest. At this point you may generate five kilowatt-hours of electricity but only use two. This means that during this time you will create a credit of three kilowatt-hours. However, at night, of course, you generate no electricity from solar energy panels. So at that time you will generate zero kilowatt-hours and may use four kilowatt-hours. When you add up your credit of three kilowatt-hours with your usage of four kilowatt-hours, you’re left with one kilowatt-hour, which is what you’ll be charged for.

By deciding on solar power home installation, you can save a lot of money on your energy bill when you use Net Energy Metering. You will receive a bill each month detailing your non-energy charges and your energy usage charges. Non-energy charges are things like city fees and utility taxes, and these must be paid each month. If you have any energy usage charges when using your solar panels, these will be listed on the bill but do not need to be paid each month. Instead, you will pay the total amount of these annually, or every 12-month period sometimes referred to as a true up statement.

In addition to the option of Net Energy Metering when using solar energy panels, you also have the option of having a Domestic-NEM Time-of-Use rate, which takes in to account peak hours of electricity use and bills and credits you differently, depending on when you use and produce your electricity. If you want to be billed and credited according to a Time-of-Use rate, you’ll need to have a special meter installed in your home.

At JP Electric, we offer solar power home installation to the California areas of  Tulare, Kings & Fresno Counties. In business since 1978, we have the know-how needed to inform you on how solar energy panels can reduce your electricity use and your monthly bills. JP Electric & Solar offers free site evaluation and solar estimates, so contact us today to set up an appointment.