You’ve probably heard that going solar could save you a lot of money by cutting back on your energy cost. With California reaching solar parity in 2015, locking in solar savings now only continues to expand your potential savings. Financing programs allow for fixed cost while the electric companies continue to charge more for energy year after year. Additionally, the initial switch to solar energy is not the only benefit investing in solar can provide you. If you are looking for the latest life hack to make some extra money on top of your energy savings, going solar may just be the golden solution.
With solar panels installed, you may be able to produce a profit from any excess energy your solar panels produce after a designated time. Sound too good to be true? It’s not.
Can I Really Make a Profit from Going Solar?
If you are installing solar panels, not only will you reduce your long-term electricity costs, you may be able to sell your generated electricity back to your utility company for a profit. It’s simple, if your solar array produces more energy in a month than the amount used by your houshold, the excess amount is sold back to your utility company.
While there are restrictions in most states regarding this practice, California homeowners can take advantage of it by having the value of that electricity go towards other costs. Under the system known as Net Metering (currently used in California), net electricity costs can be reduced to zero, but cannot go any further. Once your solar panels have produced excess energy, your account will get a credit at full retail rates.
When you generate a net surplus of energy after a 12-month period, you can receive payment under special utility tariffs that have been put in place. So there you have it. Save money by switching to solar, continue earning money by selling your excess back to the power company, and you can be enviornmentally responsible at the same time. That’s a win-win-win!
2017 Updates in Net Metering
Recently, California’s Net Metering system has undergone a few changes. Our state’s net metering policy is a crucial part of what made going solar so attractive for countless homeowners across California.
While the core has stayed the same, the major changes include the following:
- Time-of-use (TOU) rates – Now, every homeowner with solar panels will have TOU rates for electric expenses. This means the amount they pay per kWh will be dependent on their utility.
- Interconnection fees – Homeowners will also be required to pay a one-time “interconnection fee” when first getting their panels hooked up to the electric grid.
- Non-bypassable charges (NBC) – Homeowners will now be required to pay these NBCs only for the kWh of electricity provided by the utility when energy usage exceeds what is produced by their solar panels.
According to the California Solar Energy Industries Association, these changes are estimated to only impact expenses by around $10 a month in comparison to the original policy.