Thousands of American homes have explored solar energy over the last decade.
People are drawn to solar because they see it as a way to both save money and protect the environment. However, not everyone wants to switch completely to a solar setup. You can still reap many of the benefits by using net energy metering.
Net metering lets you generate your own clean energy but still get the benefits of a utility company. Here, you’ll learn more about the pros and cons of net energy metering to see if it’s the right option for you.
Table of Contents
Pros of Net Metering
Net metering has several benefits for those who generate their own energy through renewable sources like solar panels. Here are some of the pros of net metering:
One of the primary net metering benefits is that it allows homeowners and businesses to save money on their electricity bills. By generating their own energy and receiving credits for excess energy fed back into the grid, they can offset the cost of electricity they purchase from the utility.
Promotes Renewable Energy
One of the major pros of net metering is that it promotes the use of renewable energy sources like solar panels. By allowing homeowners and businesses to receive credits for excess energy generated and fed back into the grid, net metering encourages the installation of renewable energy systems. This helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combat climate change, and promote sustainable energy practices.
Reduced Strain On the Grid
By generating additional energy that can be used by other customers, net metering can decrease the demand on the grid and prevent potential blackouts or brownouts. This can be especially beneficial during hot summer months when air conditioners are running at full blast, and electricity demand is at its highest. By reducing the strain on the grid, net metering can also help improve the reliability and stability of the electrical system.
Supports Local Jobs
When people use renewable energy sources like solar panels, it creates more work for companies that make and install them. This means more jobs for people in the community, which can help the local economy.
Increased Energy Independence
When people use renewable energy sources like solar panels, they can generate their own energy and rely less on the grid. With net metering, any extra energy they make can be used later, so they don’t need to buy as much energy from the power company. This helps people be more self-sufficient and saves them money.
Incentivizes Energy Conservation
Net metering incentivizes people to use less energy by generating their own power and relying less on the grid. When people have solar energy or other renewable energy sources, they can get credits on their electricity bill for any extra energy they produce and feed back into the grid. This encourages people to conserve energy and use it more efficiently, which can reduce the strain on the grid and lower energy costs overall.
Reduced Transmission Losses
Another benefit of net metering is that it can help reduce the energy lost during transmission from the power plant to the customer. By generating energy closer to where it will be used, net metering can help to cut down on transmission losses, which is good for the environment and can save money on electricity bills. For information on solar savings, read more here
Cons of Net Metering
While net energy metering can have many benefits, it also has some drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons of net energy metering:
Reduced Revenue for Utilities
One downside of net metering is that it can reduce the revenue for utilities. This means that if more people start making their own energy, utilities might not make as much money because people won’t need to buy as much energy from them. This can be a problem because utilities use that money to keep the power grid running smoothly and make upgrades to it. If they have less money, they might not be able to do those things as well.
Cost shifting means that people who don’t have solar energy end up paying more for their electricity because those who do have solar panels are using the grid but not paying as much for it. Some people think this isn’t fair and that everyone should pay their fair share for using the power grid.
NEM is not available in all areas and may have limitations in certain states or utilities. It’s important to check if net metering is available in your area before investing in renewable energy sources like solar panels.
Potential for Grid Instability
This means that if a lot of people start making their own energy and feeding it back into the grid, it can create problems like power outages and voltage fluctuations. It’s important for the grid to be stable and reliable, so this is a concern for some people. However, it’s worth noting that many areas have safeguards in place to prevent these kinds of issues from happening.
Uncertain Long-term Savings
Sometimes, it can be hard to know how much money net metering will save you in the long run. This is because the cost of solar panels and batteries can change over time, and you might need to spend more money on maintenance. So even though net metering can help you save money in the short term, it’s important to think about the long-term costs and benefits before deciding to use it.
Impact on Low-income Households
Net metering might not be fair for low-income households because they might not have the money to install their own solar panels and generate their own energy. This means that they might not be able to take advantage of the cost savings that net metering offers, which could put them at a disadvantage. This can be a problem because it might widen the gap between rich and poor households when it comes to access to renewable energy and energy savings.
Pros and Cons of Net Energy Metering
Net energy metering provides a way to reduce energy bills and encourage the development of renewable energy sources. It is important to consider both the pros and cons before making the decision to switch to net energy metering.
As always, it’s best to research the options and discuss them with a local energy consultant. By learning more about net energy metering, you can make an informed decision about how it may or may not benefit you.
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Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Travel, health, shopping, lifestyle and business are among the many subjects she writes about. Through quality and well-researched writing, she informs and even entertains readers about things that matter. She is also interested in film critiquing and filmmaking. Giving all the glory to God, Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.