Make Your Electric Meter Run Backwards, Legally

Did you know you can get your electric meter to run backwards?  And it's completely legal.  If you invest in a solar electric system (see also article Solar Electricity as an Investment?) you can start generating your own electricity.  Anytime your "solar electric plant" is generating more electricity than you are using then your meter will run backwards, LEGALLY (see also article Solar Electricity Explained). 

www.SunCalSolar.comElectricity Metering Forwards and Backwards?
In the middle of the day when the sun is out and bright you should be producing your maximum electricity.  Since many people are gone to work during the day not much electricity is being used.  The amount of electricity you are making is likely to be more than you are using so the meter runs backwards.  What happens to your bill in this case is that the larger amount that you are making is subtracted off of the smaller amount you are using.  So when you take a larger value and subtract it from a smaller value you get a negative amount.  This means you get a negative usage or a credit to your bill

At night the sun is not out so your solar electric system is producing nothing and it is likely you and others are at home using electricity.  Even though you are not producing any electricity you have the convenience of using the utility company's power.  The amount you are making is 0 and so 0 is subtracted off your actual electric usage / consumption. 

The credits generated in the daytime are effectively used up at nighttime (see also What is Net Metering with Respect to Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power?).  The utility company calls this Net Metering because the total amount of electricity you make in a year is subtracted off the total amount you use in a year.  In other words the production and consumption of electricity is "Netted Out". 


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Robert Morse
BSEE, MSEE
SunCal Solar, Incorporated
www.SunCalSolar.com

 

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  • October 9, 2009 Solar Power Blog from SunCal Solar, Inc. wrote:
    Solar electric systems are expected to last 20 to 40 years depending on who you ask. Even at the low end of that range that's a long time. Think of all the changes in your life from where you were 20 years ago. No Moving PartsAlmost all modern solar electric installations have no moving parts (except for shutoff switches and circuit breakers). So there are no mechanical parts to wear out or to be lubricated. A few inverters have fans but these are quickly disappearing. No Fluids to "Top Off" or ReplaceThere ...
  • October 9, 2009 Solar Power Blog from SunCal Solar, Inc. wrote:
    Solar electric systems are expected to last 20 to 40 years depending on who you ask. Even at the low end of that range that's a long time. Think of all the changes in your life from where you were 20 years ago. No Moving PartsAlmost all modern solar electric installations have no moving parts (except for shutoff switches and circuit breakers). So there are no mechanical parts to wear out or to be lubricated. A few inverters have fans but these are quickly disappearing. No Fluids to "Top Off" or ReplaceThere ...
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