Come check out our newest solar education series, Solar Breakdown. On this weeks episode, National Sales Trainer Paul Gryniuk discusses the pros and cons of Net Metering. To stay updated on the latest solar information, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!
Hey everyone, welcome to Solar Breakdown. I’m Paul G and we are going to be covering net metering. Net metering is a program offered through the utility company that essentially allows someone to go solar without needing a battery. Sounds good right? Not necessarily. One, not every company offers net metering, and two, there are some downsides to the net metering program. We will go over this and I’ll discuss why I believe every solar system should come with a battery system. Let’s go over the fundamentals of how solar works first.
To figure out how solar works, let’s assume that we have a home with a solar system set up and ready to produce energy. Sunlight will then come down and hit the panels to produce DC energy. Homes don’t run on DC energy, so all of that will be funneled into an inverter to produce useable AC energy for the home. All the energy produced in the daytime is sent back to the utility grid. There is where net metering comes into play. Net metering is a 1:1 exchange ratio with the power company. Now, let’s quickly touch on what a kilowatt hour is. A kilowatt hour is a unit of energy used to measure how much energy one consumes in their household and what one produces from their solar system. For every kilowatt hour worth of energy the solar system produces, the utility company will supply them with a kilowatt hour of credit that they can use at any time. Essentially, the utility company is like a free battery pack. To keep things simple, let’s say 10 kilowatt hours’ worth of credits were produced during the daytime, but only 5 kilowatt hours are used. What happens with the remaining 5 kilowatt hours? If they were not used that day, those credits can roll over to the following day. If they weren’t used that week, they can roll over to the following week. Also, if they were not used during the month, they can then roll over to the following month. Pretty amazing right? Well, here is the catch.
A majority of power companies do something called a ‘True Up’, where they take all the credits that have built up and wipe them to zero. Not so nice, right? Downside #2, if the power goes out, the power GOES OUT. Because net metering relies on power to be sent to the grid in order to store the energy, there is a fail-safe built into every solar system to shut off connection to the grid during a power outage. If energy was being pushed to the grid and somebody was trying to repair the electrical lines, they can get zapped. A homeowner with net metering and no battery will lose power during a power outage just like the rest of the neighborhood. Downside #3: net metering can go away. I’ve seen utility companies take away net metering programs, so I recommend every solar system to be installed with a battery. We will go over the benefits of a battery system in future videos, if you are craving more knowledge of solar, visit POWERHOME.COM. Thank you for tuning in, and I’ll see you next time on Solar Breakdown.