How to Interpret Your Net Metering Bill

Solar power is an energy efficient, cost-effective alternative to conventional electricity that rewards home and business owners in many different ways. Like conventional electricity, you will still receive a power bill with a solar array, but because solar power is essentially a different utility, it comes with a unique bill.

Let’s take a look at net metering and the various items that are listed on your net metering solar power bill:

Understanding Net Metering

Net metering allows solar power system owners to utilize the excess energy produced by their solar arrays and to save on future electricity bills. When your solar array produces more power than your home or business requires at a given time, the excess power is sent to the grid and converted to energy credits. This means that solar owners are only ever billed for their ‘net’ energy usage.

Understanding Your Net Metering Power Bill

Net metering is beneficial to anyone powering a house with solar panels, but at least in the beginning, the bill can be a little confusing and difficult to interpret. Here’s a closer look at some of the elements of a net metering bill and what they mean to you, as a solar power producer:

  • Homes with solar panels are outfitted with a bidirectional meter. This meter is designed to track the utility delivered and the utility received in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
  • Utility Delivered (Udel) is the amount of power delivered to you from the grid.
  • Utility Received (Urec) is the amount of power you send back to the grid from your solar array.
  • The total amount of solar power your system produces (Ps) can be found on the inverter.
  • A net metering bill is calculated by subtracting the Urec from the Udel or (Pb = Udel – Urec). So, if you receive (Udel) 20,000 kWh and return (Urec) 15,000 kWh, you will owe for 5,000 kWh or (20,000 kWh – 15,000 kWh).
  • The solar power used (Pns) is calculated using the total amount of solar power produced by your home and the amount of power you send back to the grid. The formula is: Pns = Ps – Urec.
  • The total power (not just solar) used in your home is calculated using the summation of the power delivered to you (Udel) and the solar power produced by your home (Pns) or Pn = Udel + Pns.

All of these items and their amounts can be found on your power bill. For another look at your net metering bill, check out our video here. If you have any questions, please contact us.