This blog talks about the various aspects of “Net Metering” which allows industrial or residential solar installations to transfer the generated energy back to the electricity grid. This offers solar panel owners to receive an adjusted monetary benefit based on the difference of electricity consumed and transferred.
Solar was not at all considered as a common concept due to high investment costs but attractive offerings by the government influenced people to invest in it. As new initiatives are coming in, the interest in investing in solar projects are increasing day by day. While talking about such initiatives, Net metering is one such concept that can offer the utility of using solar panels more effectively by rewarding compensation for energy generated through solar plants. Solar is one of the affordable sources of energy, it can seamlessly work for long-term duration without requiring significant maintenance and servicing, thus reducing various overhead costs for owners.
To understand it better, “Net Metering” refers to the mechanism through which you can transfer excessive energy production back to the electricity grid. This helps you to save costs on your electricity bills while it also offers a significant ROI for installing a solar plant on your premises.
Net Metering requires you to pay the net difference of the energy consumed from the grid and energy sent back to the grid during the settlement period which can be either monthly or yearly depending upon the net metering policy. This offers a lucrative benefit in the form of savings on electricity bills.
Renewable energy is considered a better option than electricity connection to meet the demands of energy at various levels. From small houses with no-shade areas to big factories, solar can be considered as a more viable solution to meet energy needs while saving significant operational costs.
Here is an example to help you understand how net-metering works. Let’s assume a solar plant generates 100 kWh energy during a sunny day while the establishment only uses 70 kWh, the remaining 30 kWh is sent back to the grid. In this case, the energy is transferred back to the grid but it might be possible that on certain days the energy generation is not enough to meet the needs. It might happen during cloudy or rainy days when the optimum energy production might not be achieved. During such instances, the grid fulfils the requirement and offers the electricity back to the establishment. This difference in consumption is compensated through the concept of “net metering”. In this case, the unit of consumption will get adjusted in the cumulative electricity bill and the owner will receive cumulative savings for the same.
Net Metering not only just gives the convenience of transferring excess energy production and earning revenue but it may also eliminate the hassles of installing batteries or storage equipment which does come with heavy costs and it may require periodic maintenance. The solar panels alone don't cost that much as it requires minimal or no maintenance providing the benefit of affordable adoption of solar energy. This way it also solves the problem of demand and supply that needs to be matched to compensate for the loss of energy generation. The government in some regions also offer subsidised unit rates to owners for installing solar plants which are quite lesser than that of usual unit rates.
The concept of Net Metering was introduced to influence electricity consumers to opt for renewable energy thus reducing the burden of demand from electricity grids. Due to the higher consumption load, The electrical grids do require maintenance and upgrades which increases the cost burden on the electricity discom. This could be a contributing factor influencing the cost of electricity to go up. To eliminate such hassles, the net metering incentive could be a viable option to meet future energy needs. This will enable discom to efficiently manage load while also compensating well to the growing energy demands.
The local discom offers approval based on on-site feasibility to allow consumers to install plants on their rooftops. Once approved, the consumers can opt for registered vendors to get the plant installed along with the meter and connection to the grid. Initially, consumers have to bear the installation and equipment costs but in various cases, governments also offer subsidies on purchasing such equipment to offer additional savings.
The solar parks are set up under the concept of shared infrastructure where various investors invest in individual solar plants to receive similar benefits to those of rooftop installed plants. It's just that the solar parks free up your rooftop space and allot you a solar plant in a dedicated land with the facilities of the electricity grid, 24*7 monitoring, and a common transmission line. The prime benefit of investing in solar park projects is that it offers freedom to consumers from the hassles of various approvals and government paperwork. It also helps them to take the benefits of net-metering in a greater way as this offers better ROI without worrying about approvals, maintenance and installation.
The concept of Net Metering has increased the interest of people to invest in solar plants. Since it does offer a subsequent amount of savings along with a better Return on Investment, it becomes a viable option for residential and industrial establishments to opt for it. Being the driving force towards efficient energy generation, renewable energy having the potential of meeting future energy needs can bring down consumption costs in a significant manner.