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Comprehensive Guide to Net Energy Metering: Definition, How it Works, and Benefits

If you have a solar panel setup on your roof, you’re not using all the energy it generates. All the surplus energy produced is sent back to the grid, which joins your utility’s power supply. If you receive nothing in return for this extra energy, it’d be difficult to justify investing in solar panels. But net energy metering solves this imbalance and makes the decision to go solar even more worthwhile.

Here’s an in-depth guide to how it works and the benefits you can unlock by using it.

What is Net Energy Metering?

Essentially, net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar panel owners for the surplus electricity they generate.

Let’s say your PV system generates more energy the  required during daylight hours.

If your home is net-metered, your energy meter will send the energy backward into the grid. It will also provide a credit against electricity consumed at night or other times when your home’s electricity usage exceeds your PV system output.

At the end of the day, your energy provider will only bill you for the net energy consumed. On average, 20-40% of the energy generated by your panels goes back into the grid. This exported solar electricity is also used to serve nearby customers’ needs.

While it’s not true that sending energy back to the grid will result in a major paycheck each month, net energy meteringcan help you recover the cost of your PV system and panels over the long term.

How Does Net Energy Metering Work?

When you pull power from the grid, your electricity meter spins to record the usage. If your supply is net-metered, the meter spins in the opposite direction every time you send power back into the grid. This mechanism is what balances your overall electricity bill.

To sign up for this, you must connect your PV system to the power grid. This process requires special equipment. It may require a go-ahead from your utility provider as well.

Your utility might also make minor tweaks and adjustments to your metering hardware to make it net-metering-ready. However, there’s a high chance that the connection requires smart metersto run properly and your metering hardware is completely revamped.

The metering requirement varies with state, with some requires one meter to record the usage while others requiring two – one for the energy drawn and one for energy sent backward.

Benefits of Net Energy Metering

Here are some of the salient benefits of the net metering mechanism:

With net energy metering, utilities can trim peak load demand during the day by routing the surplus energy generated through solar energy to high-usage regions. This helps reduce instances of load shedding. Further, it helps DISCOMs decrease the T&C wheeling losses.

To establish a net-metered connection, you only need solar modules that generate power and an inverter to convert the DC power produced into the standard AC power that grids run on. Both of these equipment require nominal maintenance as no moving parts are involved. Moreover, both equipment have long warranties and are built using heavy-duty materials like tempered glass.

Other modules, like smart metering technology, also require minimal upkeep. In fact, with durable and reliable intelligent metering solutions from Genus Company, one no longer has to worry about downtime or disruptions.

As more and more residential units sign up for PV systems and net-metered connections, utilities will have to rely less on coal and other fossil fuels to generate electricity. Ultimately, this will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate the effects of climate change, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

In a net-metered connection, the grid itself acts as a huge power bank that stores the surplus power you generate. You can use this extra energy when you don’t have enough.  As a result, you don’t have to invest in expensive batteries for electricity storage. A small battery will suffice in instances of power outages. 

With net energy metering, consumers can earn credits for surplus power generation. This allows homeowners to offset their electricity costs when solar electricity production is low.

Read More – Empowering India’s Energy Landscape: Genus Power Paving the Way for a Smarter Tomorrow with Smart Metering

Way Forward

The net metering mechanism definitely makes solar energy more affordable and attractive for users. Apart from helping users save on electricity bills, it encourages the development of small power generation pockets in every nook of the country. It also helps utilities distribute power more efficiently and economically while reducing dependency on fossil fuels.

Overall, the introduction of net energy metering will undeniably increase solar power adoption in India.  In the long run, this will pave the way for a sustainable future.

As catalysts of sustainability and change, smart meter manufacturers play an important role in helping utilities transition from traditional power generation to a cleaner and greener approach.

And we at Genus, with our state-of-the-art smart metering solutions, are leading this transition and helping build a sustainable India.

To know more about our smart meters,get in touch with our experts today!


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