Net metering refers to an electric customer’s ability to get credit for renewable electricity generated on his or her side of the meter at the retail rate of electricity. In other words, the meter “spins backwards” when more electricity is generated than used. Excess electricity generated in one billing cycle can generally be carried over to the following billing cycle. After 12 months, net metered customers in investor-owned utility service territories can choose to either carry over excess electricity into the following year or receive a credit at the utility’s avoided cost of energy. Net metered customers of municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are subject to individual utility policies for excess generation.
Investor-owned utility electric customers can offset up to 120% of average annual electricity use through net metering, while municipal utility and electric cooperative customers may be subject to different utility policies such as system size limitations. Since excess generation after a 12-month period can be reimbursed at a utility’s avoided cost of energy (generally much less than retail rates), it is usually not economical to install a renewable energy system that will produce more than 100% of your annual needs.Last updated: October 19, 2017 at 14:42 pm