You may know about the tax credit, you may know that solar energy increases the equity of your home, but have you ever heard of N.EM.? N.E.M., formally known as Net Energy Metering, is the solar incentive we all should be talking about.
With the help of programs like Net Energy Metering, homeowners have the ability to sell their excess energy from solar back into the energy grid. In turn other homeowners and businesses can use this power. The system owner benefits from being able to pay off their systems at a much faster rate than any other time in the history of solar power!
How Net Energy Metering Works
When you decide to install solar for your home or business, you are essentially entering an agreement with the utility grid provider, in Northern California’s case, PG&E. The solar system tied to your utility meter tracks the power generated from your solar panel system. The power that you don’t use is sent into the power grid, and paying you back in the form of credits to your overall energy charges. At other times of the day, when your system is generating less power, you can “buy back” the additional energy your home needs at cheaper market rates.
“When your solar power system generates more electricity than you use over the course of a month, your utility bill will receive a credit based on the net number of kilowatt-hours you gave back to the grid. If you produce less electricity than you use in a given month, you must buy electricity from your utility to make up the difference. In these instances, you would pay for the electricity you use, minus any excess electricity your solar panels generated.” Energy Sage
The Net Energy Metering program has helped homeowners combat the Time of Use cost spike, by feeding back the energy they have sold to the grid at a lower rate utilizing their “energy credits”.
What is Time of Use?
Peak times of use in California currently range from around 4:00PM to 9:00PM. What this means is the cost of power from PG&E is actually more expensive than the other parts of the day. This is the usual time of day when you are returning from work, and winding down with their various appliances running that there is a noticeable spike in usage, putting strain on the energy grid, also known as a “duck curve”.
The utility company needs residential excess power so that it can transfer that excess energy to help keep high-demand commercial properties operational all across America.
With programs like Net Energy Metering, you can benefit and pay back your solar system that much faster. This program will not be around forever. There has been talk that it will disappear at the end of 2021 with little to no notice. To take advantage of N.E.M. get your solar system up and running this year to be grand-fathered in to one of the most lucrative parts of owning a solar system.