What is Net Metering and How does it work?

Net Metering in South Florida

If you are considering a Solar Array unit for your home or business you might want to know what is net metering and how does it work. Let’s get into it:

Utility companies in Florida are required by the Florida Public Service Commission, also known as FPSC, to offer full 1-to-1 net metering to their customers.

What does that mean? Florida law requires utilities to give you the full retail value for each unit of solar power you generate, and feed back into the power grid.

Example of Net Met Metering

If you generate more solar power than what you use, that excess power generated is exported to the power grid. For each kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy you send to the grid, the utility is required to give you the full retail value of each kWh.

You can almost consider net metering link a little piggy bank. When it’s bright and sunny and clear outside, your solar panels are normally generating more energy than what your property is consuming (based on solar design). During these time the excess energy that your property is not consuming is sent back through the electrical lines to the power company (FPL in South Florida). They sell that excess energy to their customers. In turn they owe you for that amount of energy on a 1 for 1 basis.

Later at night when your solar panels are not generating energy, the power company has to give you that energy back again on a 1 for 1 basis. If you gave 15 units of energy, they have to give you back 15 units of energy.

May people think that you sell to the utility company and then buy it back, that is not the case. That is not the case with Net Metering. Imagine the electrical meter at your property turning backwards when you are generating an excess amount of energy, and turning forward when you are using more energy than what your solar system is generating. The value is the amount of energy, not the value or price of the energy.

You can almost consider Net Metering as the battery storage for your solar unit. Think of it as storing the excess energy produced for consumption at a later time.

What Happens to the Solar Energy when Electrical Service go down?

Most people assume their solar panels will still generate electricity even though power service are down. For most, that is not the case.

When a solar system is installed, most jurisdictions require a shutoff switch be installed. This shutoff automatically disconnects the solar system from providing power to the property, and not back feeding the power grid.

This safety precaution is in place to protect those working to restore electrical services, and the public in case a power line goes down.

For most, the answer is NO, you don’t have power if the electrical grid goes down.

Here is a screenshot from the FPL website about Net Metering

FPL Net Metering

If you still have a question about what is net metering and how does it work, please leave your comment below.

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