Net metering policies are changing, but value of solar still strong
February 8th, 2022 | By Christopher Butts
February 8th, 2022 | By Christopher Butts
One of the many perks that comes with going solar is earning credit on your electric bill for excess electricity you send back to the grid. This process is called net metering. Some states have laws in place to allow for net metering, with utility companies needing to credit excess solar electricity back to consumers either at the retail price of energy, or at a pre-determined, minimum rate.
However, those protections are fading fast as some utility companies lobby to change these practices or make them a thing of the past. For instance, in Florida, net metering is being threatened by recently filed legislation. An investigation by the Miami Herald found that a utility company authored the bill, and the legislator who filed it has received campaign contributions from that utility company in the past. And in California, the thriving home solar market there is being endangered due to proposed changes to net metering from the California Public Utilities Commission.
Potential laws and rule changes being considered in other states aim to cap the amount power companies can credit per year, regardless of customer production. While those legislative and/or regulatory battles rage and threaten your ability to lower your bill through the extra electricity you produce, you can still fight rising utility rates with one of our solar panel systems. Adding a battery backup and our SMARTPWR360°™ package can further reduce your dependence on the grid, allow you to take advantage of “Time of Use” rates, and potentially help shelter your pocketbook from soaring electricity costs. Let’s explore how.
You may own your home, but you are renting electricity from the power companies. They can raise that “rent” at any time. No matter what you paid for your solar panels, the rate you pay for the power they produce will remain the same throughout their lifespan. In other words, the price can never fluctuate once you own the panels. Even if you finance a solar panel system, the energy they produce adds no extra cost to the rate you pay on the loan. Once the panels are paid for in full, the electricity they produce is free, because so is sunshine. This is the main reason we do not offer leases on the quality, American-made solar panels we install on our customer’s homes. We want our clients to own their power!
Adding a battery backup to a solar system can potentially reduce future energy costs as well. Take for instance at night when the sun goes down and your panels are unable to produce electricity. Excess electric power produced by the panels during the daytime can be stored in the battery for use when it’s dark. Again, this is clean power you made with the help of sunshine and no input from the power company.
Batteries can also keep customers from paying higher, fluctuating “Time of Use” rates. Plenty of excess power can be generated during the day through solar. This can be a problem because not all this excess power can be used by the grid when the demand for electricity is lower. Batteries have the ability to save that energy harvested during the daylight hours and send it back to the grid at night when electricity is in higher demand. Utility companies who offer “Time of Use” rates will make customers pay more for their grid power during peak demand hours. Therefore, utilizing a back-up battery during peak demand has the potential to save our customers even more on their electric bills.
While the battery costs money initially, once you own it, it costs nothing to use it to store excess electricity you have produced. Plus, a battery can help power portions of your home during power outages.
While going solar cannot take you completely off the grid, you can certainly reduce your reliance on renting electricity from the power company. That reliance can be scaled down even more by implementing Pink Energy’s SMARTPWR360°™ Package. This energy efficiency assortment includes a Nest thermostat, LED light bulbs, added attic insulation (if needed), as well as several other upgrades designed to help your home run more effectively on less energy. Even if you don’t have a solar panel system, these upgrades make financial and ecological sense.
Whether you live in a state that offers net metering, “Time of Use” rates, or neither, going solar provides many ways to potentially reduce energy costs, add to grid resilience, and increase the amount of power you use that is produced by carbon-free sources. You do everyone a favor by adding solar + storage and a SMARTPWR360°™ package from Pink Energy. Call (877) 4-GO-Pink today and see if you qualify for our solar offerings!