What is Net Metering?

November 27, 2018

As a locally operated and nationally recognized solar energy company, we are often asked how collecting solar energy works. Common questions include: “What happens to the extra electricity my home generates?” and “How does the solar energy collection benefit our community and my utility bill?” One term that we find our clients want to know more about is “Net Metering.” Let’s examine net metering, how it works and how it can benefit both your wallet and your community.


What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a billing method that credits solar energy system owners (both homeowners and business owners) for the electricity they add to the grid by collecting it on their property. Currently, 41 states and Washington D.C. have mandatory net metering rules, and two more have utilities that permit the practice. In our state of Massachusetts, as a customer of our utilities such as Eversource, National Grid, or Unitil, you may net meter. This program allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid.


How Does Net Metering Work?

For solar energy system owners in Massachusetts, your rooftop systems may collect more energy than your home uses on a given day. This especially happens in the summer months when the sunny days are longer and direct sunlight is copious. As your home or business generates excess energy, that electricity is exported to the grid and your meter will run backwards! During that time, your property is collecting “credit” that can be used at a later date such as in the evening when there is no sun or during cloudy days. You are then billed only for your “net” energy use. “Net” energy is the difference between the energy produced by the solar power system and the energy consumed by the house over the monthly billing period.


The Benefits

There are several benefits to this billing system both for your wallet and for your utility company. Net metering allows utility customers to generate their own electricity cleanly and efficiently. Obviously, the less energy you consume from the grid, the lower your overall utility bill will be. For utility companies, the excess energy adds to the grid and reduces strain on the grid’s distribution and transmission infrastructure.


Are you considering a solar energy system for your home? Call SunPower by BlueSel at 781-281-8130, or visit our website today.