From its minimal impact on the environment to its versatile applications, solar energy systems provide a range of benefits for commercial and industrial businesses. Did you know that businesses can even receive billing credits for going solar? Here’s everything you should know about solar net metering and why you should consider it for your business.
What is Solar Net Metering?
When you install a solar energy system at your business, you have the ability to implement solar net metering. This solar incentive provides the ability to be credited for excess electricity that is produced by your business’ solar energy system.
When more electricity is generated than required by your business, your meter will run in reverse, putting the excess energy back into the grid for others to use. Depending on the local policies in your area, this excess energy is stored in the electric grid in exchange for credits. The credits produced are based on the net number of kilowatt-hours that you send back to the grid and are recorded on your utility bill.
Under the proper weather conditions, a properly sized solar energy system can produce sufficient electricity for your business. However, there will be certain times when your solar panels may not produce enough electricity – such as on cloudy days or during the night. At these times, you can use your credits to pull energy from the grid, similar to before your business went solar.
On each monthly energy bill, the “net energy,” or difference between the energy generated by your solar power system and the energy consumed by your business over the monthly billing period, is billed.
Solar net metering is only available for businesses that remain connected to the electric grid; it’s not available for those that operate “off the grid.” It’s particularly useful when a solar power system is connected to a storage (battery) system.
Net metering programs for wind, water and agricultural biomass are also available.
What Are the Benefits of Solar Net Metering for Businesses?
By crediting business owners for the excess energy produced by their solar system, solar net metering serves as a helpful way for businesses to save thousands of dollars. The utility bill credits are generated at the same rate that you would pay to the utility company and can normally be carried forward to offset future electricity costs.
Besides cost savings for businesses, net metering helps lessen the strain on the grid’s distribution and transmission infrastructure. Energy loss is minimized since voltage doesn’t need to travel as far and peak shaving to lower Demand Charges and Global Adjustment charges occurs.
Compared to any other energy source, solar energy creates the least negative environmental impact as it does not create greenhouse gases or pollute the water.
Who is Eligible for Solar Net Metering?
In order to be eligible to participate in net metering, a business must be planning to generate renewable energy primarily for its own use. The size of the system must be less than 500kW and the hydro company’s distribution system should not be relied upon to consume the energy produced.
For more information about solar net metering for your commercial or industrial business, contact us today.