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Utility Connection & Net Metering

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Stay Connected, On-Grid Solar

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You want to get the most out of your solar pv system. Connecting your solar system to your local utility company is the way to do it. Though there are some situations, such as remotely-located buildings that are suited to off-grid systems, today most commercial solar systems are hooked into the local utility system.

On vs. Off Grid

Grid-Tied (“On-Grid”):

In a grid-tied system, your building has two energy sources – your solar array and the utility grid. Your building will first use the solar electricity produced by the solar system and when extra is needed it will get electricity from the local grid, so you always have energy (except during power outages). In the event that your solar system produces more electricity than you need, your solar inverter will funnel the excess into the local grid. These systems can be designed with battery back-ups, though this is uncommon.

Off-Grid:

An off-grid system is one that relies entirely on battery for storage of the energy produced by the solar array and limits the building to the amount of electricity produced by the system. When the batteries are entirely drained there is no utility back-up system.


Grid-Tied Benefits

  • The utility is your back up: If weather minimally diminishes the electric production of your solar system due to rain, fog, or snow, your utility will make up the difference.
  • Reduce your electric bill: You can take advantage of net metering provided through your local utility for an additional reduction in electricity costs.

Net Metering

How net metering works for solar

Net metering is another key benefit of grid-tied solar systems. In net metering programs, when your solar system produces more electricity than your facility can immediately make use of, the excess energy gets fed back into your local utility grid, effectively causing your utility meter to spin backward! This has two benefits for your solar building:

  1. When the solar system on your building produces more energy than your building requires, you get paid! Most utilities will credit back to you the power fed into the local grid, which will further reduce your electricity bill.
  2. Solar systems produce the most energy during peak hours, in the middle of the day. During these hours the per-kWh electricity rates are highest. Therefore the credit you receive from your utility company will be calculated at the higher electricity price, which means you’ll receive an even higher discount on your utility bill.

This process of net metering lets you buy electricity at a low price and sell it at a high price!

Greenzu Does On-Grid Solar

When you enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) like Greenzu’s Solar PPA program with a grid-tied solar system, you will be paying two separate utility bills.

  • You pay Greenzu for the solar energy your building uses, and
  • You pay the utility company for any electricity drawn from their grid when you need more than your solar system can provide.

Though you might think your electricity costs will go up with two bills, the good news is that the sum of Greenzu’s and your utility company’s bills will be 15% to 20% lower than what you would have been paying with electricity only from your local utility!