How To Sell Solar Power Back to the Grid

There’s no doubt that solar energy offers a host of benefits to the consumer, the community, and the climate. A photovoltaic (PV) system can help you become energy independent, take pressure off your local power grid, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But did you know that you can earn credits from your utility company, too? That’s right—a residential solar system can not only power your home but also generate excess energy that you can sell back to the utility company. In this article, we’ll provide an in-depth guide on how to sell solar power back to the grid. If you’d like to get the most value out of your solar panel system, keep reading.

What Is Net Metering?

It’s quite common for a residential solar panel system to generate more electricity than the homeowner requires. In fact, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) estimates that approximately 20 percent to 40 percent of a solar system’s energy goes back to the grid to be used by nearby customers. By participating in a net metering program, you can use that excess electricity to save money on your electric bill.

Net metering is a billing mechanism that provides energy credits to solar owners for sending power to the grid. If your home is net-metered, your utility company will measure how many kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity you’ve sent back to the power grid and provide credits to be applied to your monthly electric bill.

How Does Net Metering Work?

If your solar system is large enough, it will generate a surplus of electricity during daylight hours. This energy is then sent back to the grid, earning you credits toward your electric bill. These credits can then be used at night, on cloudy days, or when your electricity usage exceeds the system’s output.

Most net metering programs allow you to roll over energy credits from month to month. So, if you generated excess energy over the course of a month, you could use the credits to offset your electric bill the following month. However, not all utility companies allow you to roll over credits. Make sure to check out your utility company’s net metering policy to find out how and when the credits can be applied to your bill. Here at Lake Mary Solar, our solar contractor can go over your utility company’s policy with you and help you better understand it. 

How To Sell Solar Power With Net Metering

Determine if You Are Eligible

Before investing in a PV system, confirm that net metering is available in your state. Currently, 41 states, including Florida, have net energy metering (NEM) policies in place for solar users. Most utility companies within those states offer net metering programs, but some may not.

The rules and rates for selling power to the electric grid differ between states and utility companies. Some have simple, streamlined processes, while others are a bit more complex. If you are uncertain of how net metering works in your area, contact Lake Mary Solar. Our experienced solar contractor can help you determine if you’re eligible to join a net metering program.

Unlike some states, Florida offers full-retail net metering. This means that you’ll be credited for excess power at the current retail rate, making it easy to save money and shorten the payback period of your solar system.

Choose the Right Solar System

As previously stated, net metering works by sending excess electricity back to the grid; however, if your solar system isn’t large enough or efficient enough to offset your electricity usage, you won’t be able to earn credits. On the other hand, most states have placed limits on the amount of energy you can send back. So, installing a significantly oversized solar panel system won’t be of much use, either.

In general, it’s best to install a PV system that will produce the same amount of electricity that your household typically consumes. This will allow you to maximize your return on investment and avoid spending more money than you need to. On the other hand, if you plan on increasing your electricity usage in the future, it may be wise to invest in a larger solar system.

Take a look at your previous electric bills and use our solar calculator to determine what size solar system you’ll need to participate in net metering. After you schedule a home visit, our solar contractor will work with you to design a PV system that’s tailor-made to meet your needs.

SOLAR CALCULATOR

Join a Net Metering Program

Before installing your solar system, check with your utility company to ensure that the system can be connected to the grid. Utility providers have varying requirements about what types of solar systems can be connected. 

Once you’ve installed your new solar system and had it approved by your county and city building departments, you’ll need to join a net metering program to sell solar power back to the grid. In order to participate in net metering, most utility companies require you to sign and submit an interconnection agreement. Contact your utility provider to learn more about the requirements.

Our Lake Mary Solar contractor will coordinate with your utility company and building department to ensure that your solar system is compatible with your power grid. We’ll also help you complete the interconnection application so you can get started with net metering as soon as possible.

Get Connected to the Grid

After your interconnection application has been approved, the utility company will install a new power meter in your home. This specialized meter will measure the excess energy generated by your solar system to ensure you are credited for it accurately. Once the new power meter has been installed, our solar contractor will turn on the solar system so you can start enjoying the benefits of net metering.

How To Sell Solar Power Back to the Grid: Conclusion

So, there you have it: our in-depth guide on how to sell solar power back to the grid. If joining a net metering program seems complicated, don’t fret! Our fully licensed and insured Florida solar contractor will take care of the entire process. We’ll help you choose the right solar panels for your home, advise you on the best financing options, help you take advantage of all the solar incentives in your area, and work with your local utility company and building department to get your system approved and connected. Getting started with net metering is easy, and the benefits are ample.

Are you ready to start saving money on your electric bill? Get a quote from Lake Mary Solar today and join the solar energy revolution.

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