net metering

 

Australia surpasses any other country in residential solar panel installation. The sunny weather conditions and rising electric bills are the crucial elements behind this shift.

However, shifting to solar doesn’t mean you have to opt for an off-grid system. Instead, you can choose the option of Net Metering Solar. It allows you to move to solar cleverly while staying connected to the grid.

But what is the net metering system, and how does it work? If you have similar questions in mind and want to know how it can benefit you, read further. We have explained Net Metering: How it works and its benefits.

What is Net Metering?

Net Metering is a billing arrangement between solar panel users and Electricity Utility providers. It allows households and businesses to access both solar energy and traditional grid electricity at the same time.

With Net Metering, solar panel owners can connect their solar system to the grid and export excess solar power back to the grid for other customers, earning credits in exchange. 

Many countries follow net-metering solar, each having a different mechanism for giving credit. But primarily, the credit paid for solar energy relies closely upon the price you pay for grid electricity.

This billing technique helps you offset the price of importing electricity from the grid due to lower solar power generation, i.e. during the night or in bad weather conditions. This way, you only need to pay for the difference between net power consumption and excess solar energy production, saving you from spending on installing batteries.

What is Net Meter? 

Net Meter is a kind of equipment used to measure the total amount of energy consumed within your property. It displays how much power you consume and produce every day. 

How does the Net Meter work: 

Net Meter displays the import of grid power and export of solar energy and helps you determine the net amount you need to pay for electricity.

Net Metering allows the meter to move forward, and you only need to pay for the deficit. 

Depending on the type of Net Meter, your solar panel system will either export the excess power back to the grid regularly, i.e., every 30 minutes, or send the cumulative energy at the end of the whole day.

How does Net Metering Work?

Net Metering is only possible with a grid-connected solar panel system installed at your property. It allows your solar system to work together with the power grid. So, solar energy will remain the primary power source for running essential electrical appliances, and you only need to use grid-tied electricity during a deficit. 

For Net Metering, your solar panel installer will install an inverter and net meter with solar panels. Unlike other meters, Net Meter will provide you with two-way information on electricity import from the grid and the export of excess energy, helping to calculate the net amount you need to pay for electricity. 

How It Works: 

Import: When your home requires more power than the energy produced by the solar system, you need to import it from the grid. The net meter will record the extra power drawn from the grid during a deficit. You pay for each kWh of imported electricity at the retail electricity rate. Depending on your tariff, this price can come between 22c to 55c per kWh.

Export: You export energy when your solar system produces extra power than your electrical appliances require. The net meter reflects the amount of solar energy sent back to the grid, and you will get paid in feed-in tariff for each kWh exported electricity. Depending on your retailer, it can be between 6c to 16c per kWh. 

Your electricity retailer will take these readings to calculate the net difference between the two and add the supply charge for the grid connection before billing.

Types of Net Metering 

  • Virtual Net Metering 

This system lets you enjoy solar energy without installing it on your premises as the household energy needs get transferred and supported by a solar panel site. 

  • Aggregate Net Metering 

With this system, one property with solar panel installation can support and power another. 

  • Remote Net Metering 

This system helps farmers and non-residential customers to generate as many credits as possible that lower electricity bills.

Types of Net Metering Agreements 

In Australia, solar energy has two types of net metering agreements. It includes: 

  • Gross Metering 

In this agreement, you send the whole energy generated by solar panels to the grid and receive credit for it regardless of how much you use. 

  • Net Metering 

In Net Metering, you only export the unused or excess generated solar energy to the grid and receive credit on the used power.

Benefits of Net Metering

  • Reduce Carbon Footprint

Net Metering encourages households to opt for solar, helping to reduce their carbon footprint.

  • Reduce Electricity Bills 

With Net Metering, you only have to pay for the Net amount per month, helping to cut down your hefty electricity bills.

  • Power Another Property 

If your solar system generates excess solar energy due to sunny weather conditions, you can use it to power other households by exporting it to the grid.

Conclusion 

Net Metering is the most affordable and clever way of solar installation, as it allows you to enjoy both solar energy and grid power. 

If you want to install solar panels and take advantage of this billing system, consider all the points we covered in this article. For more queries regarding Net Metering in your state, you can contact our team of experts.