Net Metering allows a homeowner who has a solar power system installed on their roof to benefit from any extra electricity that is generated.
As a customer of your local utility, you can benefit by receiving credit for your excess electricity. So in addition to not needing to rely on your local utility while the sun is shining, your utility bill is further reduced through this set up.
It’s fairly simple. During the times of the day that your PV system generates more power than you use, your electricity meter will run backwards. This process automatically keeps track of how much energy you have contributed to the grid. Your utility statement will show this credit. The excess solar power that is produced is diverted to the houses nearby.
PV system owners are basically only charged the “net” energy that they use.
A great way to look at this is that in addition to your PV system providing most of the energy you require, net metering also enables you to turn your home into a small power plant.
Consider how powerful this is – you can also be a producer for the grid, instead of only being a customer.
The good news for homeowners considering the purchase of a solar power system is that most of the United States have adopted net metering. The states that have not yet adopted NM are required to assist a homeowner with this set up if requested. This is due to a provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.