Understanding California Net Metering & Energy Rates

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Your electric meter is a small device that determines how much electricity your home has consumed. When you install solar panels in your home, you can also install what is known as a “net meter,” which gives homeowners a number of benefits.

The first benefit is a net meter is capable of running backward, which means it keeps track of how much electricity your panels have sent back to the grid. In the middle of the day, when your system is generating more clean energy than your home needs, your system can send this electricity back to the grid, where it can be consumed by someone else. When you do this, a net meter runs backward, which applies a credit to your utility bill. During the night when your panels are not generating any electricity and you are drawing from the grid like normal, your meter will run forward.

This is particularly beneficial with modern solar systems, which are changing to net metering 2.0. This is a new system of determining electricity rates and charges based on “time of use.” You’ve probably seen or heard of commercials discussing your electricity consumption during “peak time.” These times usually begin around roughly 4 P.M. when children are home from school and turning things on while many businesses are still open for business. This places the greatest strain on the electrical grid system, usually up until around 8 P.M.

Under NEM 2.0, electricity consumed during peak time will be more expensive than non-peak electricity. All customers who purchase their electricity from SDG&E will be transitioned to time of use rates by 2019, however those who switch to solar before Spring 2017 will be granted a five-year grace period from the transition to time of use.

This is just one additional incentive to switch to solar. Not only will your peak-time electricity be less expensive for longer, you can even have some of the electricity you generate during the day be credited back to your bill. This will save you a bundle of money, particularly if you continue to supply the grill during peak hours.

At Solaire Energy Systems, we were founded to help people improve the quality of their homes through energy-efficient solutions with your heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and solar systems. Our goal is to help homeowners not only save money, but reduce their environmental impact as well, which helps keep our planet green and beautiful for years to come.

Find out if your home is an ideal candidate for a solar system! Call Solaire Energy Systems today at (619) 831-8600.

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