Net metering, Energy storage and What it Means for You

If you’ve visited the S2A blog before, welcome back! You should already know all the ins and outs of net zero, from our previous blog post, but if you missed it, take a look at how we achieve net zero here.

Now that you’re all caught up, we’re going to chat about net metering, energy storage, the latest and greatest news surrounding the two, and most importantly, what that means for you.

First things first: What is net metering?

Net metering is the state-regulated mandate that says utility companies are required to pay solar customers a state-determined rate for excess energy produced by their home’s energy system. With net metering, electric utility customers using solar typically see thousands of dollars in savings on electricity costs over the lifetime of their solar panels.

Net metering has become central to the solar business model. It allows homeowners, businesses and commercial facilities to receive credits or compensation for the surplus electricity generated by their solar system.

How does this work?

Throughout the day, your solar panels generate electricity from sunlight and all that energy is fed into your home’s energy storage system. Once it’s reached full capacity, the surplus energy is sent into the electrical grid where you are given credits by the electric company that can be used for energy you might need from the grid during periods when your solar system isn’t able to generate to full capacity (nighttime, gloomy days, etc.). Depending on the energy market, you may even be able to opt for a monetary compensation for the surplus energy.

This brings us to our next point: energy storage systems.  What in the world are energy storage systems?

It’s simple. Energy storage systems are in-home (or on-premise) intelligent battery systems that can store electricity for use in the future. Energy storage systems offer flexibility for managing energy consumption and provides an alternate power supply.

What’s in the news what does this mean for you?

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently passed FERC Order 841. This order directs independent system operators (ISO) and regional transmission organizers (RTO) to develop rules opening their wholesale energy, capacity and ancillary services markets to energy resources. Simply, this makes storage eligible for the wholesale market – removing barriers that could prevent resources from realizing their full value. This essentially eliminates the energy market monopoly and creates more providers for you to choose from, which means you’ll see better, more competitive pricing.

Net metering and energy storage allow you to be compensated for your surplus energy. Not only are you saving on electric bills, but you’re seeing a return from creating excess energy. Additionally, with recent news on energy blackouts due to various electric companies not being able to supply enough energy to the grid – net metering helps provide the grid much needed relief, which can help prevent these blackouts in the future. The grid, as it stands, desperately needs relief to prevent families losing power and creating detrimental hardships (like those who have vital medical needs dependent on electricity).

Want to learn more? No problem. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite informational resources below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wId3Llpr4ZM

http://energystorage.org/resources/kicking-tires-order-841-diving-details-opportunities-and-challenges

https://www.energy-storage.news/news/california-opens-door-to-energy-storage-net-metering

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