Net Metering is an incentive that allows you to export Solar energy back to the grid. Unlike off-grid system, an on-grid solar system continuously generates power during day time, irrespective of the usage. Any excess power that is not utilised, goes back to the grid and reduces the electricity bill. Therefore, the term ‘Net Metering’
How Net Metering Works?
Net Metering only applies to on-grid systems, where DC power is continuously converted to AC power, irrespective of energy used by the consumer. This excess energy is then supplied back to the grid and tracked within the Net Meter installed outside customer premises. Net Meter being a bi-directional meter tracks both the import and export of energy and the Discom (Electricity Distribution Company) then generates a Net bill to the consumer.
Image Courtesy: @Energysage
Let’s understand this with an example.
Mr. Ramesh has 5Kw Solar rooftop plant installed at his premises, generating an average of 23 units electricity per day. However, his average daily consumption is 25 units during summer and 15 units during winter. Since, electricity generation is more than consumption, the excess electricity goes back to the grid and bi-directional meter installed outside the premises will record this exported energy as ‘Export Units’.
When solar power isn’t available at night, electricity consumed from the grid is recorded as ‘Imported Units’. At the end of billing cycle, Discom will generate a Net bill
Net Bill = [Units Exported + Incentives (if any)] – Units Imported
- Zero Maintenance
With no batteries involved, you don’t have to think about maintenance
- Quick ROI (Return on Investment)
Any battery overtime will loose its capacity and would then need to be replaced. With no batteries involved, an on-grid system has a higher ROI (Return on Investment). If electricity rate per unit is high in your area, the ROI increases.
- Reduced or No Electricity Bill
Net Metering allows you to enjoy the benefits of Less or No Electricity Bill. If during any billing period, the export of units exceeds the import of units consumed, such surplus units injected by the consumer shall be carried forward to the next billing period as energy credit and shown as energy exported by the consumer for adjustment against the energy consumed in subsequent billing.
- Greener World
If everyone contributes to greener environment, we all can secure a better future of newer generation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Exporting electricity to grid…
The grid refers to the transmission lines connected to the main service panel and meter. When your solar system is generating more power than you need, the excess energy travels back to the lines passing through bi-directional meter. The buildings around you then use this power from the same transmission lines.
What is the maximum load I can put?
This is a wide misconception among people. An on-grid system’s only job is to convert DC energy into AC. If you have a 5Kw system, you may either run 10KW or 1Kw load. When running 10Kw load, the extra energy required will come from grid, and when using less power, the excess energy will go back to grid. Don’t confuse it with an off-grid system.
I exported more every month, will government pay me back?
At the time of writing this post, only Delhi government in India is paying back for extra energy exported. At the time of writing this post, Delhi government was paying @ 2Rs./unit for excess energy exported.