What is Net-Metering?
In order to understand what is net-metering, let’s take a step back & explore why do we need net-metering.
The solar panels installed at our houses can function in two ways – firstly, as standalone systems wherein they produce & consume only the power generated by them, without any external input. These are called off-grid systems and have no way to import/export power. You can find these in remote areas, where there’s no access to the grid.
The second way is when a solar system is connected to the power grid, such that, if need be, it can import required power during peak hours or export surplus power during wee hours such as daytime when all of us are in office!
It is in the latter case, that we need a way to track the energy that was produced indigenously & that which was imported/exported. This is why we need a net-meter!
So, what’s a net-meter again?
It’s a device that helps discoms keep track of the net energy used by households, i.e. a reading of total energy produced by solar panels minus total energy imported from the grid.
If this number is negative, it means that you’ve exported more energy than you’ve consumed, and you’ll be compensated by the discom at a rate called feed-in tariff.
With net metering, you can earn from the excess power, but this is usually not more, because of the restrictions imposed by the state governments, wherein individuals can’t install more than 100% of the sanctioned load.
Still curious about what does this all mean for you?