Net metering or distributed generation are the programs created by utility companies to allow clients to use their grid for their extra power produced by their solar panels. In most cases the power from the solar panels goes through the main electrical panel and powers the breakers pulling power. Any excess energy goes through the meter and onto the electrical grid. Then the net metering or distributed generation agreement comes into the equation.
Deregulated or regulated electricity is what we deal with here in Texas. Deregulated electricity allows clients to choose their net metering program through the retailer they choose inside the parameters of the energy production group (Oncor and TNMP in Dallas metro) Regulated electricity is a set program because the utility is set and client can’t choose which one they want to go with.
When calculated savings this program is a huge factor. We need to identify the connection fee, how much credit client will get for kWh sent to the grid, how long the credits will be allowed to be banked (typically one month, one year, or unlimited), and lastly any other fees involved. This is how we can calculate the true savings.
Some of this will have variables going forward so always good to at least plan for a battery back up option. Sometimes not always in the budget currently, but doesn’t mean we can’t have a gameplan going forward.