Yes, you can profit from your home solar system by the method called net metering. In this method, you can export excess units your solar system produces, to the grid and get credits for it. But the way this net metering works depends on the rules and regulations of the state or the country you are living in. According to the rules and regulations of many countries, this method is mostly a way of reducing your expenses than an additional income.
How net metering works?
When you are registered to the net metering system then you can supply the excess power units your solar system produces to the grid. One unit you supply to the grid is equal to a unit supply from the grid.
The excess units your system produced current month/ months will be credited towards the future months that your solar system produces less number of units and will compensate for the units you consume from the grid.
Let’s clear things more with an example;
Let’s say that your solar system had produced 120 W during a previous monthly billing period and you only had used 100 W. Then you have an additional 20 W. But in this month your system only had produced 80 W but still, your monthly consumption is 100 W. That means you have to get 20 W from the grid. But you will not be billed for this usage. The reason is you had supplied 20 W to the grid in the previous month.
What do you need to join the net metering system?
- You should have an on-grid solar system.
On-grid solar systems are not completely isolated from the grid. They have a connection with the grid. So that allows you to import and export power from the grid. So you can import power when your solar system produces less power and export power when your solar system produces excess power units.
- Your solar system capacity has to be within the range recommended by the rules and regulations of your state or country.
If you want to join the net metering system, your solar system capacity should be under a certain limit. This limit is different between countries and even states.
For example, some countries/ states limit your solar system capacity or the monthly production rate to be less than 100% of your average monthly usage. Some countries allow your capacity to be around 200%.
As the rules and regulations associated with net metering are different between countries/ states, what you need to be qualified to enter a net metering scheme is different. So check your own country’s/ state’s rules and regulations about this.
How can you earn money from net metering – net accounting?
Earning money from the net metering system is not possible in every country. But some countries pay you for the extra power units you supplied to the grid. This is called net accounting.
In this process instead of reducing the credits from the future bills, you will get paid by a cheque for the exported units. Here the exported unit price is not the same as an imported grid unit price. So you will get paid according to the price set by your country or state. Most of the time this set price is lower than the grid power unit price.
Why entering a net metering system is advantageous?
We cannot expect constant sunlight throughout the year. Even though you may have a battery it might be not enough for the whole winter season. In some areas going off-grid is possible. But for some areas being on-grid is a better option as the grid act as a huge unlimited battery for you.
Net metering allows you to invest the extra power units you produced during sunny days for the gloomy days, instead of letting them go to waste. So you can pay less for the units you have used during gloomy/ winter days as you had paid them with your power units during sunny/ summer days.
The net metering system is not equally advantageous for every country/ state. The reason is the weather condition is not the same in every country/ state and the rules and regulations set by each state/ country is different.
Why net metering/ net accounting is not a good income method?
Most of the countries/ states do not pay for the exported units. That means the net accounting system is not functioning in many countries or states.
Even though some countries/ states have a net accounting system due to the system capacity limits set by the state/ country will limit the extra units you can supply to the grid. Also, you will get paid a very limited amount of money per unit. So you cannot expect much income from this method.
A net metering system is a system that helps you to invest the extra power units produced by your solar system for the days your solar system produced fewer power units. It will help you to compensate for the units you used from the grid. So this greatly helps you to decrease the amount you have to pay during winter/ gloomy days.