What You Need to Know About Net Metering

Most of the time being eco-conscious and cost-effective are not mutually exclusive. For the average American family, their budget doesn’t allow for the expensive eco-responsible option at the store.  Net Metering makes green energy attainable, affordable, and sensible.   

What is Net Metering

Net Metering, otherwise known as Net Energy Metering (NEM) is how you get credit for the extra electricity your solar panels produce and the effect it has on your electric bill.


Majority of home PV systems are “grid-tied,” in other words connected to the electric grid.

The process your electric company uses to connect your PV system to the grid that allows electricity to flow between the two is called interconnection. Once the systems are interconnected the extra electricity your panels produce will go back to the grid and if you require more electricity than your panels produce you’ll pull electricity from the grid. This means you’ll have a constant and uninterrupted flow of electricity as long as the grid is up.  

If you want to ensure that you have power even when the grid goes down. Ask a solar consultant about adding a battery back up with a solar generator to your system.

Know Your Net Metering Policy

Net metering policies vary, multiple states don’t have laws in place regulating net metering. It’s very important that you know your state or electric provider’s net metering policy. Knowing your net metering policy allows you to maximize your solar savings without giving or selling your extra electricity back to the grid for less than it’s worth.

A good solar consultant will know how much offset will give you the maximum savings. So if you don’t have the most ideal of net metering policies it doesn’t mean you still can’t benefit from having a PV system.

Types of Net Metering

  • True Net Metering – Full retail price for each kWh of power you send to the grid.
  • Voided Cost – Typically compensated at a much lower rate than retail price.
  • Gross Metering – You have to buy all your electricity from an electric company and sell all your solar production at a substantially lower rate.

True net metering that offers a 1 for 1 buyback is the most ethical and offers consumers the ability to become energy independent.  True net metering offers PV system owners the most out of their solar investment.

Categories of Net Metering


If you want to learn more about the different categories of net metering The Institute for Local Self Reliance is a great resource. If you want to learn more about your own solar solutions or have questions about solar in general click here. At Hirst Solar Consulting we’re happy to assist you with all your solar energy needs.