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Going Solar Know Your Energy Metering Options

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There are three main categories of solar metering options, let me introduce them to you。

Solar Gross Metering

Total metering In a grid-tied solar system, a two-way meter measures total solar power generation with the help of a private solar installation, while a one-way meter evaluates the total power input in this arrangement. Compensation to consumers comes in the form of a fixed feed-in tariff for solar power generation and total units exported to the grid. This is measured by a one-way “total meter”.

In short, people continue to pay the distribution company (discom) the retail price for electricity consumed from the grid. Thus, the customer is compensated for the energy produced by using his solar panels and exported to the grid. Feed-in tariffs and retail tariffs are rarely the same. If you are a consumer, this is usually not a good idea, as the retail electricity price will be much higher (up to 100% or more) than the price DISCOM pays for the electricity you generate and supply to the grid under total metering.


Net Billing

Net billing systems provide actual direct payments to consumers for any excess electricity generated and exported to the grid. However, electricity prices will again be lower compared to retail electricity prices, usually in relation to the average cost of electricity purchases by discoms. This gives distribution companies a higher advantage over consumers.

solar Net metering

What is net metering and how does it work?

Net metering is an electric billing tool that uses the electric grid to store excess energy produced by your solar panel system. Under net metering, energy your solar panels produce and you don’t use is credited back to you. On a cloudy or rainy day when your panels aren’t producing enough energy, the utility grid will feed your home energy, and count that energy against the credits you’ve banked over time. As a solar customer, you will only be billed for your “net” energy usage. Also known as net energy metering or NEM, net metering is the solar industry’s foundational policy.


How does net metering work?

Say you install a net metered solar panel system. When your solar panels are producing more electricity than you are using at any point during the day, the electricity is sent back to the grid, running your electric meter in reverse. When you use more electricity than your solar panels are producing, either at night or on cloudy days, you pull electricity back from the grid, running your meter forwards. At the end of the month or year, you are billed the net amount of what you put onto the grid and what you took off the grid: hence “net metering”.

net metering home solar

All of this in mind, it is possible to reduce your annual electricity cost to zero through time-of-use. You can accumulate credit with surplus generation during the sunny summer months, and use it during winter when solar generation decreases. You will achieve the best results when your solar energy system has just the right capacity to cover your annual home consumption.

Oversizing your solar array is not recommended, as you will simply accumulate a large unused credit each year. In other words, you cannot overproduce and charge your power company each month. Some power companies will let you pick the expiration date of your annual net metering credits.


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