Net metering is a crucial concept for solar homeowners looking to understand the cost-saving processes in the industry. Because of net metering, solar users are able to save tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of their installed system.
Net metering is the process by which homeowners are able to access and use a surplus of stored energy that they have collected over the years. On the higher production days, the extra energy that is not used is able to be stored away in the local power grid and used during lower production days.
Most times it is the summer months that allow solar users to build on their net metering credit in the power grid because of the longer, sunnier days. Then the power would be redistributed throughout the year to be used throughout the colder winter months with shorter day times.
With the right system and power efficiency, net metering can even out the power use throughout the year and provide some financial stability and allow for incredible savings. These savings can even pay off the cost of the solar system itself faster if used right.
A Quick Word on Net Metering Laws
Most states have adopted laws to allow for this policy to encourage more U.S. homeowners to buy into the solar industry.
These laws dictate that the energy companies are required to purchase this extra energy from you and pay it back when it is needed. Although certain states — like Nevada, Mississippi, Georgia and more — do not have laws in place for this system, but there are sometimes alternative policies that dictate a certain cap on the amount of power that is stored.
Missouri’s Net Metering and Easy Connection Act ensures that homeowners and businesses that switch to solar receive true net metering free of cost for any systems that pull in less than 100 kwh. Electric companies are required to use simple contracts to make this easy, as well.
Other states allow those companies to charge connection fees for net metering and also charge against the credit for any outstanding debts.
Kansas’ bill of the same name has much of the same rules but also stipulates that the extra energy that is built up by solar users only remains in the grid for the year it was generated as a credit, and is reduced to zero once the year passes. Solar users also are prohibited from receiving money for the extra power and are not allowed to sell the power to any other party.
Benefits Beyond Cost
The best feature of net metering is the ability for solar users to gain control of their energy production, usage — and most importantly, their bill.
In addition, demand and use of energy feeds positively into the energy and solar industries which solidifies jobs for installers, electricians and all those who contribute to the process. Policies like net metering encourage private investment in solar which lays the foundation for the solar industry to thrive — also meaning us at KC Solar!
In 2017, 3.3 million people were employed by the solar industry and this number only continues to rise. A Black and Veatch study asked average Americans what kinds of power sources they would use in the future with 43.6% reporting solar and photovoltaic systems. Only 1.8% put down coal systems.
Net metering, believe it or not, actually does benefit electricity companies as well. Though a lot of utility companies might mention nervously that the consumer saving money means the electric company is losing that revenue — which actually is true in the short term.
But in the long term, the use of the grid’s energy to near the point of total consumption helps the entire system run better in its distribution of energy and reduces the strain of maintaining constant power streams. It operates almost like running the gas in your car until it’s on fumes before filling it up. You save money and your car runs better!
There have been many studies conducted about the cost and benefits of using systems like these and renewable energy — most reputably by the Solar Industries Association. All signs point to the benefits outweighing the cost! This has been continually proven, and in the end, this is important for the environment.
KC Solar Wants this for You!
KC Solar does want you to save money. These policies and practices benefit everyone. Better understanding of how they accomplish that is extremely important as you navigate the industry.
If the information seems overwhelming or complicated, there is an incredible amount of education on these matters that can explain it in different ways.
We are experts in this area — especially in Kansas City. We know this city, the solar policies, and what would work best for your home and your finances. We guarantee satisfaction and savings.