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Oct 6, 07
Net metering allows utility customers to generate a portion of their own electricity and reduce their electricity bills. Once you decide to install a photovoltaic system, you and your solar trade ally contractor will contact utility company to sign a net metering agreement. After the system is installed and has passed its electrical inspection, the utility will come to your home and switch out your existing utility meter for a net meter—which keeps track of energy flowing to and from your utility provider. Utility company may install and maintain your new meter at their own expense.
If your solar electric system is producing more electricity than needed while the sun is shining, your meter will run backwards! When your solar system is not generating enough electricity to meet your home's needs, electricity will be pulling from the utility grid, so you don't need a battery storage system.
Let's say your solar panels provide 200 kwh of energy. Here are three scenarios showing how energy is measured at the net meter:
• If you consumed 200 kwh in a given month, the net meter would read 0 kwh.
• If you consumed 100 kwh in a given month, the net meter would read -100 kwh (credit).
• If you consumed 500 kwh in a given month, the net meter would read 300 kwh usage from your utility.
Each month you will pay your utility company only for your net energy usage. Any surplus energy generated by your solar electric system during the sunny summer months is credited to your electricity account.
If you are based in USA, the following diagram mentions availability of NetMetering in your State. For more information on net metering call your electric utility company.