What Is Net Energy Metering?

By Sam Baker
August 04, 2015
Net Energy Metering Solar Home

One of the most frequently asked questions for solar homeowners is what net energy metering (NEM) is and how it works.

NEM is a credit on your electric bill that represents the full retail value of electricity delivered by your solar electric system. This means when your solar panels are producing more energy than your home is consuming, your surplus power will flow onto the grid and help power the rest of your community. As your electricity flows onto the grid, you earn a credit which is used when you consume more energy than your panels are producing (e.g. at night, when it’s raining, etc.). Net metering allows solar to be a viable energy option because our power demand is not perfectly aligned with solar production. 

Solar_Home_Net_Metering.jpgSolar Home Image Credit: Center for Sustainable Energy – energycenter.org


At the end of your billing cycle, on the 12th month, you will “true-up” with your utility company and pay the remaining balance on your electricity bill if you consumed more energy than you produced or receive a net surplus compensation if you produced more electricity than you consumed.

For more answers to common solar questions, check out Pick My Solar’s Solar Education Page.

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Sam Baker

Written By

Sam Baker

Sam is a Project Manager at Pick My Solar and a solar energy enthusiast.

More articles by Sam Baker

What's Pick My Solar? We empower our customers to adopt clean energy through transparency and choice. Our free, no-obligation platform provides competing solutions from top providers.

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