At REenergizeCO, we often encounter two questions about solar. One is “what happens when my solar panels generate more electricity than my home needs?” And the other is “What is supposed to power my home when the sun is not shining?”
Net Metering is the answer.
What is Net Metering?
Net metering is a solar billing incentive that allows for owners of solar energy systems to store energy in the electrical grid. Essentially, this means that when your solar panels produce excess power during the day, that energy will be sent to the grid. In exchange, your system will then pull energy from the grid in times when your system is under-producing like at night or days where the sun is not shining brightly.
Because the amount of electricity your solar panel system will produce varies throughout the year, net metering will allow you to account for these differences. It will credit you for the excess energy your system produces and will allow you to use it later when you need it.
How Does Net Metering Work?
Solar energy systems usually have the highest energy production in the afternoon. While this is good to know, many people aren’t home at this time during the day. In fact, most of a home’s energy use occurs in the mornings and the evenings. Net metering will allow you to account for the high and low times of energy usage in your home.
When your solar energy system produces more energy than your home requires, your meter will run in reverse. When your system is not producing enough energy, it will pull from the grid just as it did before you had a solar energy system. With net metering, the excess energy that your solar energy system produces will cover the times when it does not produce enough.
At months end, if your system has produced more energy than your home required in that given month, your energy bill will receive a credit that is based on the number of kilowatt hours that you contributed to the grid. If your system produces less electricity than your home needs, you must buy back the energy to make up the difference. If this is the case, you will pay for the energy your home used, and minus any electricity that your solar panels created.
The Benefits of Net Metering and Solar Power in Colorado
It goes without saying that the most beneficial aspect of net metering is to the consumer. If you have net metering in your home, you will be able to reduce the amount of money you spend on energy each year. Below is a snapshot of the benefits of net metering:
- It allows people to see the real value of the energy that their solar electric system produces.
- It allows independent homeowners to produce their own energy, which takes pressure off of the grid.
- A home can potentially power other homes. If enough homes in a neighborhood use solar electricity systems, the neighborhood could become somewhat self-reliant.
- Net metering encourages consumers to be active in their role of producing alternative energy. This helps protect the environment.
- Homes that utilize net metering in Colorado are made more aware of their monthly and yearly energy consumption.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of net metering in Colorado. Utility companies aren’t in favor of it because it leads to consumers buying less power from them, and this means smaller profits. For this reason, they have been in opposition to many proposed state legislations that would make it easier for consumers to utilize net metering.
Colorado Solar Company
Colorado has wonderful net metering policies that will allow homeowners to keep track of the energy that their solar electricity system produces. With that, on top of the amazing incentives that Colorado provides to owners of solar power systems, how could you not make the switch? Contact the solar power experts at REenergizeCO today and learn what switching to solar energy can do for your home. For more information about net metering in Colorado, visit Xcel Energy.
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