What is net metering?

Net metering is a system in which solar panels are connected to a public-utility power grid and surplus power from these panels is transferred onto the grid. This allows you to offset the cost of power drawn from the utility when panels may underproduce. During the day, most solar customers produce more electricity than they consume. Net metering allows you to export that excess power to the grid to be used by neighboring buildings. This will reduce your future electric bills by crediting this surplus amount to be used at a later date.

Solar energy systems typically hit peak electricity production in the afternoon, while many people aren’t home using electricity. By contrast, home electricity use is typically higher in the mornings and evenings, when the sun may not be out to power these panels. Net metering helps you to account for these ups and downs in your day-to-day electricity production and usage.

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Net Metering Saves You Money

If you produce less electricity than you use in a given month (say you install your system in the middle of winter), 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.

Net metering guarantees that you save the full retail value of every kilowatt hour of energy that your solar panels generate, even if you are not using power when the solar is generating. When your solar panels produce power that you don’t need, that energy is sent to the grid. In exchange, you can pull that excess energy from the grid when your system is under-producing; like during a storm or nighttime.


What are the nuts and bolts of net metering? How does it work? The answer is interconnection. Before you can install your system, your local utility company must first approve it. Skyline will submit the preliminary interconnection paperwork with your utility on your behalf, making sure that the size and location of the solar panels are approved by the utility. Once your solar system is installed, your local jurisdiction will inspect your panels. Then your installer will submit a request for interconnection to your utility.

The Interconnection Process

Interconnection is the process through which your utility company connects your solar panels into their grid. This allows for the two-way flow of power between the two. Once approved, your utility will visit your home and install a two-way meter, which allows for more accurate reading and reporting of your solar electricity production. 

Once the two-way meter is installed and your utility gives you formal “permission to operate,” you can flip the switch on your new solar system. Smooth, timely, and cost effective interconnection is a key element of net metering. And Skyline can help with that! All in all, net metering is a fantastic way to ensure that your home always has all the power that it needs at any time of day without having to pay expensive bills to your utility company. Request a free solar quote today to see how much you can save!
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