Here's the scoop on net-metering...
Americorps Volunterr - Jon Scott
Renewable energy systems, i.e. solar panels, wind power, etc can reduce energy bills significantly. However, these systems do not provide electricity all the time, for example solar panels only make energy when the sun is shining. So how are you supposed to watch tv at night? Well, in Louisiana, we have two choices: energy storage with a battery pack or net-metering.
A battery storage system takes energy from the renewable system and stores it into a battery for later use. The battery is large and located near the renewable energy system. Net-metering connects the renewable energy system to the grid eliminating the need to store the energy. The energy is then used by other utility customers. Net metering requires a net-meter which is smarter than the traditional meter. Traditional meters can only measure energy flow in one direction: from the grid to your home. The “net-meter” measures the flow of electricity in 2 directions: 1. from the grid to your home and 2. from your home to the grid. For solar, the meter runs backward during the day and forward at night. At the end of the month, a net-metered customer is billed for the “net” energy used. That is, the amount of energy they produced minus the amount of energy they used. In Louisiana, we are lucky because the net energy we sell to the grid is at retail rate.
The top three reasons to choose net-metering over battery packs . . .
First: Net metering helps you get the full value of your renewable energy system. A battery requires charging and energy that could go to running the refrigerator is instead just sitting there.
Second: Net-metering is much cheaper. Battery systems are still cost prohibitive for most people.
Third: Net metering decentralizes energy production. This helps improve reliability and decreases maintenance costs on the grid.
Well, I hope you understand net-metering better. You won’t drop off the grid but you will get help move us all towards a more sustainable energy future.