Net Billing and Net Metering - Firefly Solar
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The Nuances of Net Billing and Net Metering

Are you wondering why you should even care about net billing and net metering about right now? When it comes to reducing our energy bills and contributing to a greener planet, solar energy has been at the forefront of many homeowners’ minds. One of the key aspects that play a role in maximizing the benefits of solar energy is understanding the concepts of net billing and net metering. These two systems, while they may sound similar, have unique differences and benefits. So, let’s explore how that can significantly impact a homeowner’s electric bill.

The Nuances Of Net Billing - Firefly Solar
The Nuances Of Net Billing - Firefly Solar

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First, Let’s Delve Into the Concept of Net Billing

If the solar panels produce more electricity than the home uses, the excess energy is sent back to the grid. In this instance, the homeowner receives a credit on their electric bill. This credit can then be used to reduce future bills. In some cases, the homeowner produces more electricity than they consume over a billing period. As a result, they may receive a payment from their utility company for the excess energy.

“Net billing is a system where the electricity produced by a homeowner’s solar panels is used to offset their electricity consumption.”

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Now, Let’s Talk About the Aspects of Net Metering

This means that homeowners are selling their excess energy back to the utility company at the retail price of electricity. To clarify, the energy produced by the solar panels is measured. Next, the homeowner is credited for each kilowatt-hour of excess energy they generate. Finally, these credits can then be used to offset future electric bills.

“With net metering, homeowners are credited for the excess energy they produce. Further, credits are applied at the same rate they would be charged for consuming energy from the grid.”

Save On Electric Bills - Firefly Solar
Save On Electric Bills - Firefly Solar

©Firefly Solar | Reserved

Opportunity For Homeowners to Save On Electric Bills

Clearly net billing and net metering provide an excellent opportunity for homeowners to save money on their electric bills. However, it’s crucial to note that the availability and specific details of these programs can vary greatly. In most cases, variables depend on your location and utility company. Further, in states like South Carolina and Georgia, utilities have averaged a 4-6% increase in electricity rates over the last ten years. For this reason, electric bills potentially double every 10-12 years. With net billing or net metering, homeowners can significantly offset these rising costs.

In states like South Carolina and Georgia, utilities have averaged a 4-6% increase in electricity rates over the last ten years. This means that an electric bill can potentially double every 10-12 years.

Let’s explore a fictional scenario to better understand how net billing and net metering can impact a homeowner’s energy bill. Imagine a homeowner, let’s call him John, who lives in South Carolina and has recently installed solar panels on his home. In the first month of using his solar panels, John’s home consumed 861 kilowatt-hours (KWh) of electricity from the grid. During this time, his solar panels generated 2,265 KWh of electricity. Of this, 1,110 KWh were sent back to the grid because John’s home couldn’t use all the energy his solar panels produced. With net metering, John would receive a credit for the 1,110 KWh of excess energy. In addition, these credits equal the same rate charged for consuming energy from the grid. At this point, these credits can then be used to offset future electric bills.

Consider Instantaneous Metering - Firefly Solar
Consider Instantaneous Metering - Firefly Solar

©Firefly Solar | Reserved

Consider Instantaneous Metering

Another crucial aspect to consider is instantaneous metering, which is a system that some electric companies are adopting nowadays. Instantaneous metering is a way for homeowners to receive avoided cost rates for the excess energy they produce.

“Avoided cost rates are typically lower than retail electricity rates, which means that homeowners may not receive as much credit for their excess energy as they would with net metering.”

The goal with instantaneous metering is to offset daytime usage and reduce the amount of energy consumed from the grid.

Example: How Instantaneous Metering Works

Let’s consider another fictional scenario to understand how instantaneous metering works. Let’s say Jane, a homeowner in Georgia, has a solar panel system installed in her home. In the first month of using her solar panels, Jane’s home consumed 1,200 KWh of electricity from the grid, while her solar panels generated 1,360 KWh of electricity. With instantaneous metering, Jane would receive a credit for the excess 160 KWh of electricity at the avoided cost rate. This credit would then be used to offset her future electric bills.

Wrapping Up All This Tech Talk About Metering

Understanding the concepts of net billing, net metering, and instantaneous metering is crucial for homeowners looking to maximize the benefits of their solar panel systems.

“Homeowners should thoroughly research and consult with their utility company to understand the specific details of these programs in their area.”

These systems provide an excellent opportunity for homeowners to save money on their electric bills, reduce their carbon footprint, and contribute to a greener planet. However, it’s important to note that the availability and specific details of these programs can vary greatly depending on your location and utility company.

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