Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits homeowners for excess solar production when it is added to the electrical grid. With net metering, your excess solar production is sent back to the electrical grid in exchange for credits on your utility bill.
If you’re a Sunnova customer, your home solar system will be connected to the grid – your home solar system will have a give-and-take relationship with your utility.
At night or when energy consumption exceeds solar production, your home will use electricity from your utility. Your net metering credits can help cover the cost of the utility electricity. Learn more about what your utility bill will look like after you go solar here.
How does net metering work?
Your home solar system generates the most energy during peak sunshine hours, which is usually in the afternoon to early evening. However, if you’re not home for most the day, you may miss out on using your peak energy production.
That’s where net metering can come into play.
If you’re a Sunnova customer, you home solar system will be connected to your utility. At night or during times when home energy consumption exceeds your home solar production, your home will use electricity from your utility. This is why you will continue to get a utility bill even if you have home solar [link to blog].
However, net metering credits help reduce or eliminate your utility bill.
Through net metering, excess solar production is sent to your utility for credits on your utility bill. The amount of the credits varies by market.
With a home solar system and net metering, you will take energy from your utility when needed, but you can also send excess solar production back to your utility. It’s a give-and-take.
What is the future of net metering?
Net metering policies are passed at the state or utility level depending on where you live. From SEIA, “Differences between state legislation, regulatory decisions and implementation policies mean that the mechanism for compensating solar customers varies widely across the country.”
Before going solar, as part of our quoting process, we can help you understand how your net metering will work for you.
How does net metering work if I have a battery?
If you have a Sunnova SunSafe® home solar + battery storage system, your net metering options can vary by market.
Time of Use
“Time of use” net metering means that your utility will compensate you more for electricity sent back to the grid during peak hours. If you’re in a utility with mandatory time of use, your Sunnova SunSafe® home solar + battery storage system can help you maximize your net metering credits. During peak hours, the value of net metering credits increases.
Depending on your battery:
- During the day, once your battery is fully charged, excess solar production will be sent to your utility.
- During the time of use, your battery is set to discharge during peak times in order to maximize your net metering credits.
In Certain Markets, You May Not Have Net Metering
In certain markets, homeowners with battery storage are not eligible for net metering.
However, with a battery, you will be able to use more of your own solar production instead of pulling electricity from your utility.
If you’re a Sunnova customer and you’re not eligible for net metering, we will set up your battery in max self-consumption mode so you can use the energy in your battery at night and as needed.
Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding credit for net energy exported to the electric grid, and any credit provided (now or in the future) is subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action.
The amount of power available from the battery during a power outage is limited, depending on the loads connected, customer usage and battery configuration (i.e. batteries in certain areas may be set up to provide you with the best economic benefit, which may affect the amount of back-up power available). Solar systems and/or batteries may require repairs after weather events and such repairs may be delayed due to forces outside of our control. No assurances can be given that the solar system or the battery will always work. You should never rely upon either of these to power life support or other medical devices.