Share the power
When you install a solar energy system, you turn your home into a little power plant with big benefits for you and those around you. Here’s how.
There will be magical times when your solar energy system produces more power than you need. This will typically happen during the day, when your system is producing more power but you’re using less. If you take part in net metering, this excess power can be routed back into the grid, so that others can tap into it. In return you’ll receive a credit, which will help offset the cost of any power you draw from the grid yourself. Pretty cool huh? This could make the arrival of your electric bill something you actually look forward to, since you’ll pay only for the net energy you buy from the utility. These savings can amount to thousands of dollars over the life of your system.
Net metering is currently available in most but not all states, and policies vary from state to state. For example, in California, you can choose to be compensated for the power you share with the grid in one of two ways. You can have the excess power you generate carried from month to month in the form of a credit. Or you can receive financial compensation for this power.
In Arizona, where more than a half-million homes are powered by solar, net metering is not an option for new solar customers. Instead, new solar users will receive compensation based on a flat rate established by the homeowner’s utility company. Even so, Arizonans still have a lot of incentives to go solar and to sell the excess power they produce back into the grid.
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