Net Metering in Fla is fairly consistent between all the utilities. In a nutshell, it is a state wide policy that allows a homeowner to create renewable energy and sell the excess back to the grid.
For example, if a home has a PV solar system installed, and is legally connected to the grid, then any excess power created by the home can be sold back to the grid, and the utility company will be required to buy that power from you.
The net metering agreement will allow you to create power for your own use, and the rest goes to the grid. When you need more power, you can get that power back from the grid. This option is free, and saves thousands over installing batteries...
This is done by installing a special electric meter that will record power into the home and power back out to the grid. A real life example may help here. A homeowner has installed a 7kw system on their home. At 8AM, everyone in the home leaves for the day.... Some go to school, some to work... But for whatever reason, the home is sitting empty with most of the energy using appliances turned off.
But, there are a few appliances like a refrigerator, the AC unit, clocks, ect that will continue to use some power thru the day. But mainly, the home is not using much power. For the rest of the day, the PV Solar Panels will be cranking out power. Some of this power will be used instantly in the home, the rest will be sent to the grid.
So, that day, the homeowner ends up with a positive credit on the net metering system. Some of the power was used, by much of it was saved or sent back to the grid. Lets say that that day, the system sent 15 kilowatt hours back to the grid. Now, about 6 pm, people start getting home. Lights are being turned on, computers and stereos are running. Big screen tvs and microwave ovens are being used. Now, the extra power being consumed by the household is being taken from the credit balance that was created during the day.
This happens every day, and the 7kw system is averaging 35 to 42 kilowatt hours a day. At the end of the week, the total bill to the house is only a quarter of what the normal bill would have been. Net metering allows the homeowners to store power on the grid until they need it, and then retrieve it instantly. This eliminates the need for a very expensive battery back up system, keeping the installed cost of the PV Solar Project down to an affordable installed price.
Is there more to net metering... sure there is, but this is the main concept to remember. There is no more "running the meter backwards" But, in reality, that is the end result. It creates a very efficient operating system for less than half the cost of adding a battery back up package.
To be sure you have a good understanding, go to the Utility Company website and look up the specific policy. In general, this article should cover the basics.
Here is an excerpt from the FPL website here in Fl
Net metering allows FPL customers who connect approved, renewable generation systems such as solar panels to the electric grid to buy and sell electricity to FPL.
When you generate electricity from your solar array for your home or business, it reduces the amount of energy you purchase from FPL. It also lowers your monthly electricity bills. If your system produces more energy than you need, the excess power is sold back to FPL’s grid. That amount of energy is deducted from your monthly bill or credited toward a future bill in the same calendar year.
To be eligible, complete the application process for your Interconnection Tier listed below and FPL will replace your current electric meter with an appropriate meter to correctly measure excess power supplied to the grid. This is needed to calculate the net impact on your bill.
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