Net Metering is a type of grid tied solar installation that is connected directly to your home’s electrical panel. When the solar panels on your roof produce power, you are able to use it directly. If more power is being produced than is being consumed simultaneously, the extra power will be sent to the grid and you will earn credits in exchange. You have 11 months to use the credits that have been earned to offset the cost of future electricity bills.
In the summertime for example, your system would typically produce more power than you would use resulting in an accumulation of credits for the excess energy produced and sent to the grid. These credits can be used to offset the power you will use in the winter months when your system isn’t able to produce as much energy because of the shorter sunlight hours. Even on a daily basis, think of Net Metering as a solution where you will be billed only from your “net” consumption of energy; your system will be producing energy during the daylight hours which will be in excess of what you will consume and you will accumulate credits to offset the cost of the electricity you will be using in the evening.
With rising electricity costs, Net Metering is becoming more and more of an attractive option! The more the price of power increases, the more you benefit from having a Net Metering system. Assuming the standard rate for electricity is currently 12 cents/kWh, you will be earning credits equivalent to 12 cents for every kilowatt hour of electricity sent to the grid. But as the price of power increases, the payback will only get better and better. With a system lasting 35+ years, this may be one of the best investments you ever made!
With Net Metering, you have the added convenience of being connected to the grid. If the power you generate is not enough to fully meet your electricity needs, you can continue to draw power from the grid, as usual.
Although similar, Net Metering is not to be confused with MicroFIT which provides a fixed payment to homeowners for the amount of energy their system feeds into the grid for 20 years. For more information, see Hydro One’s Net Metering web page or download the Government of Ontario’s Net Metering brochure.More Information