Can You Sell Solar Energy Back to the Power Company

Can you sell solar energy back to the power company? The quick answer is: Yes. But that’s not the main goal you should be aiming for. Solar energy will definitely save you money, but it won’t necessarily make you money. Let’s explore why.

Sell Solar Energy Back to the Power Company: What Does it Mean?

Most people who talk about selling energy back to a power company are referring to a program called net metering, which is offered by most power companies. Here’s how it works: Solar panels sometimes produce more energy than you need. With net metering, this extra electricity is sent back into the grid, and you’ll get credits from your energy provider. These credits can then be used to lower your energy bill when your solar panels aren’t producing enough power for your needs.

Some real estate developers and landlords install solar panels to make money by charging renters for the electricity generated by the system. However, this isn’t something the average homeowner typically does.

Misconceptions About Selling Solar Power

It’s a common misunderstanding that you can make money by selling excess power back to your utility company. Net energy metering can help you save money by reducing your electricity bill, but it doesn’t mean you’ll get paid for extra power. Solar systems that produce more energy than you use throughout the year usually aren’t a good investment. While the power company might send you a check for the extra energy you put back into the grid, it’s often less than what you’d pay for the same amount of power.

Adding more solar panels to your roof to generate surplus electricity can end up costing you more, especially if there’s limited space. If your roof isn’t suitable for additional panels or if it’s heavily shaded, you might need ground-mounted solar panels, which can be more complex and expensive to install. The extra money you might get from the power company for generating excess energy usually isn’t worth it.

The good news is, you can still save money with solar even if your system doesn’t produce more energy than your home consumes. You’ll also save money by sending power back to the grid, but not in the way you might expect. You can benefit financially if you sell your solar energy to the power company.

Can You Sell Solar Energy Back to the Power Company


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How Solar Systems Work: Production Power & Excess Power

While utility companies do reimburse solar panel owners for the electricity they generate, it’s not a money-making scheme; rather, it’s a great way to save money.

When you install solar panels at your home, your solar installer will design a system to generate slightly less energy than your home consumes annually. This is because they’ll consider your home’s energy usage and the solar system’s potential output.

At ESD Solar, we offer a free comprehensive solar audit. During this audit, we determine the total production power needed for your system by considering your home’s annual energy consumption and the potential solar production. Factors like roof size, type, orientation, and sunlight exposure influence the system’s size and power output.

We recommend to our customers that they install solar systems producing slightly less energy than their homes need. There are several reasons for this.

Why Choose a Solar System That Generates Less Energy Than You Consume

The average roof in Florida is usually too small to fit extra solar panels that would generate more power than your home needs. But don’t worry, this is normal. You’ll still produce most of your energy from clean sources and save a lot of money.

Some power companies have changed their net energy metering programs. Right now, most companies in Florida give solar credits at a 1:1 rebate. But there’s a trend where some companies offer credits worth less than the solar energy you send back to the grid. These credits don’t match the real value of the solar power your home produces.

We suggest a system that doesn’t make a ton of extra energy and gives most of it to you instead of the grid. Many homeowners go for this option and also get a solar battery. The battery stores extra energy from sunny days, so you can use it when it’s cloudy or at night. This way, you get the full value for your solar power and use less from the power company. Plus, you won’t send any power to the grid and get a bad deal for it.

If you’re not sure about your utility’s net energy metering agreement, ask them about it. And if you need help or answers quickly, feel free to contact us. 

Understanding Net Energy Metering

Most states have adopted net energy metering, but there are differences in how rules are applied from state to state and even among power companies. Your experience with a power company might be different from someone else’s in your city.

Regardless of where you live or which company you use, there will be times when your solar panels produce more energy than you need, especially during long summer days. When this happens, the excess energy goes back to the grid, which benefits everyone by replacing some of the dirty coal-burning power with clean electricity.

During shorter, darker winter days, your solar panels will produce less energy. In these times, your grid-tied system will get power from the utility grid, and you’ll be charged for it. But the credits you earned from sending energy back to the grid will offset this cost. Net energy metering is great because it significantly reduces your power bill. Typically, your solar system pays for itself in about 10 years, leaving you with a much smaller power bill.

Your solar system will come with a two-way meter to track net energy. This meter records how much energy you use from the utility company and how much you send back to the grid. The credits you earn are then used to lower your monthly power bill.

Learn About Your State’s Net Energy Metering Policies

Net energy metering can be a great financial benefit for homeowners who choose solar power, but it can also cost the utilities money. Because of this, many utility companies have tried to oppose net metering or reduce the value of net metering credits. 

However, most states recognize the benefits of net energy metering. It helps utilities manage peak energy consumption times and reduces carbon footprints on the grid. This also encourages homeowners to switch to solar power, which benefits everyone.

Timing Matters – Contact ESD Solar Today!

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of these incentives and maximize your financial return by switching to solar power. Utility companies will likely keep reducing the value of energy metering credits to boost their profits. By going solar now, you’ll be locked into the net energy policy in place when you install your solar system. Even if your utility changes its net metering value later on, you’ll still get the credit value from your original agreement.

Additionally, federal solar incentives currently reimburse solar homeowners for 26 percent of their solar costs through a dollar-for-dollar tax rebate. However, this rebate will decrease to 22 percent in 2023 and disappear entirely in 2024. As more homeowners embrace solar, the providers of these incentives won’t be able to afford to offer them to everyone. That’s why we encourage anyone considering solar to start now while incentives are still available.

To find out if solar is right for you and to learn more about your production capacity and utility company policies, we recommend a solar audit. These audits can be done safely in person or online, and they’re free and comprehensive. Call us now!

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