Net Metering is a common term used in the solar industry, but what is it exactly? The State of Florida launched the net metering program back in 2008 under House Bill 7135; however, the initial bill catered to investor-owned utilities. In July of 2009, the state enacted a program that standardized net metering for customer-owned systems.
Florida’s Net Metering Program
Florida’s net metering program allows renewable energy systems that are 2 megawatts (MW) or under to connect to the utility infrastructure. Through an application process called interconnection, Solcium Solar will work with your utility provider to replace your standard energy meter with a new one that can calculate both your energy consumed from the grid as well as the energy produced by your panels that is sent back to the grid.
These meters will track and calculate the amount of energy you are providing to the infrastructure in the form of energy credits. Homeowners and business owners are given one credit per one kilowatt that their solar panels produce, offsetting your electric consumption during the evening hours. If there is a surplus of credits at the end of each billing cycle, those credits will roll over to the next month and up to a 12-month period. If the credits are not used within a 12-month period, the utility company is responsible for paying for that energy. Unfortunately, the utility companies have worked their magic to gain permission to pay consumers for the excess energy they supplied at a lower rate than they charge customers for energy consumed. That said, it is extra money in your pocket when you do not have an electric bill!
Panels and Politics
This exchange of energy is carefully monitored and reported to the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC), the reigning authority over utilities and other services. They are responsible for approving the set rates for energy buy-back. You can read more about this governor-appointed board of directors in our recent blog, Panels and Politics.
We love explaining things in simple terms, so let’s break it down with pictures. Who doesn’t love a good visual?!
During the day, your panels are soaking up all those good UV rays and powering your energy needs, you’ll push any excess energy production back to the grid. That energy is then stored as an equal credit towards future energy consumption from the infrastructure. Imagine it as depositing money into your energy piggy bank.
At night, when the moon is out, your panels don’t produce energy from the sunlight and you end up pulling from the grid in order to power your consumption. This is sort of like borrowing pennies from your energy piggy bank. But don’t worry, as soon as that sun hits, you’ll be saving again and those borrowed credits will be replenished!
Solcium Solar’s Dedicated Team Gets You Interconnected
After your system is installed, Solcium Solar has a dedicated team of permitting managers that will work with your municipalities and utility companies to schedule your interconnection inspection, ensuring that your system is ready to roll! The utility company then installs your new meter and you’ll begin rolling back the dial on savings (quite literally).
If you’d like to know more about your utility company’s net metering plan or how you can start your own energy savings piggy bank, give Solcium Solar a call for more information.