What is net metering?

If you’ve considered going solar, you’ve probably heard of something called net energy metering – or net metering for short. It sounds neat, but how does net metering work?

Net energy metering, also known as NEM or net metering, is a billing agreement between you and your utility company. When your solar panels are overachievers and produce more energy than you consume at your house, you can send the excess energy to the grid in exchange for a monetary or kilowatt-hour credit. This credit will show up on your monthly utility bill, which you’ll probably welcome with open arms. 

In return, when your solar panels don’t generate enough energy to meet your power needs, you can pull energy from the grid and use accumulated net metering credits to offset your utility bill. Not a bad deal. 

net energy meter

What is a net meter?

A net meter looks similar to your regular analog meter, but it measures both the power you’re using from the grid and the power you’re supplying to the grid. So when you pull energy from the grid it runs forward, and when you put energy back onto the grid it runs backwards. Kind of like a confused marathoner. 

How do I know if I’m eligible for net metering?

Net metering is available on a utility-specific basis, and solar net metering policies vary from state to state. If your utility company offers net metering, the first step is probably filling out some forms. If you go with Vivint Solar, we handle that and lots of other red tape for you, because we assume that you would prefer the process to be easier instead of harder (just a hunch). Get started with a free solar quote.

How to Go Solar

Vivint Solar makes renewable energy a simple and affordable alternative. We take care of everything from solar system design, to paperwork and permitting, to installation and maintenance.

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