Net Metering: How Solar Works in the Winter Long Term

How Solar Works in the Winter Long Term

Have you ever wondered how homes powered by solar energy still have electricity in the middle of the night when the sun isn’t shining, or in the winter when there are fewer sunlight hours every day?

These homes rely on energy storage to provide the power they need, even when their solar system is not actively producing energy. Homeowners can store their energy for free through a program called net metering.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering allows you to store the excess energy that your solar system produces on the power grid. Your new bi-directional meter will keep track of how much power you have stored on the grid and how much power you pull back off to use. 

At the end of the month, your utility company will bill you if you are at a net negative (you used more energy from the grid than you sent to it) or credit you if you are at a net positive (you sent more energy to the grid than you used from it). Stored energy rolls over each month, so you can use the energy you stored in the summer to power your home in the winter.

Why is Energy Storage Important?

Excess energy storage is essential for solar system owners. It ensures that you have access to your own energy even when your system is not producing. If you did not store excess energy from your system it would go to waste, and you would have to buy energy from your utility company every time you needed more than your system could immediately provide.

Your solar system only produces energy when it is receiving sunlight. During low production times, when your solar panels are receiving little or no sunlight, you will either use your stored excess energy or you will pull new energy from the electric grid (which your utility company will charge you for).

This is an extremely important process during the winter months. Because there is less sunlight each day during the winter, your solar system will produce less energy than it does during sunnier months. Since most homes use more energy in the winter, you are left with a gap between the amount of energy your home needs and the amount of energy your solar system produces. This gap is covered by your stored excess energy.

Building Up Excess Energy for Winter

Where does your system get enough excess energy to cover that gap? It builds it up during the summer. We build your solar energy system to overproduce during the sunny, high-production months of summer, leaving you with excess energy to use during the winter months. 

This can be confusing for homeowners if they are looking at their energy production month to month. They may wonder why their solar system is producing more than expected during the summer and less than expected during the winter. If you notice this, don’t panic; it’s all part of our design to provide you with excess energy so that you have electricity year-round.

Net Metering Helps You and Your Home

Net metering is a valuable resource for you to take advantage of if you decide to go solar. It can save you money by allowing you to use stored energy instead of buying new energy from your utility company, and by letting you avoid the cost of an expensive solar battery. It helps balance the difference between high production and low production times, offsetting your higher energy usage during the winter with the excess energy you stored over the summer.

If you decide to go solar, we will work with you to design a system that best fits the unique characteristics of your home. Net metering helps us to create a system that provides you with the energy you need when you need it.

Call Us