Unlocking the Power of Commercial Solar Net-Metering: Everything You Need to Know
Are you looking for ways to reduce your business’s energy costs and carbon footprint, while also offsetting future energy bills? Well, commercial solar net-metering has become an increasingly popular solution. Net-metering is a policy that allows solar panel owners to offset their energy bills by sending excess solar power back to the grid, and commercial net-metering works similarly to residential net-metering, but on a larger scale. In this post, we’ll explore how commercial solar net-metering works, as well as the benefits and challenges of this approach.
What is commercial solar net-metering?
Net-metering is a policy that allows solar panel owners to offset their energy bills by sending excess solar power back to the grid. When a solar panel system generates more power than a business consumes, the excess power is sent back to the grid, and the business earns credits on their energy bill for the excess energy they produced. These credits can be used to offset future energy bills when the solar panel system is not generating enough power.
Commercial net-metering works similarly to residential net-metering, but on a larger scale. Commercial solar systems can range from small systems that power a single business to large systems that power entire communities. The benefits of commercial net-metering for businesses include reduced energy costs, increased energy independence, and a reduced carbon footprint.
How does commercial solar net-metering work?
The process of generating solar power is similar for residential and commercial systems. Commercial solar panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity, which is then converted into alternating current (AC) electricity by an inverter. This AC electricity can then be used to power the business’s operations, and any excess power is sent back to the grid.
When excess solar power is sent back to the grid, the utility company tracks the amount of power that was sent back and credits the business’s account accordingly. These credits can be used to offset future energy bills when the solar panel system is not generating enough power, which can help businesses reduce their overall energy costs.
Key considerations for businesses considering net-metering
While net-metering can offer significant benefits to businesses, there are several key considerations to keep in mind before installing a commercial solar system. Some of these considerations include:
- Potential savings over the long-term: While the upfront costs can be high, businesses can save money on their energy bills over the long-term by generating their own solar power.
- Availability of incentives and tax credits: There may be federal or state incentives or tax credits available to businesses that install solar panel systems, which can help offset the upfront costs.
- Choosing the right system size and location: Businesses should consider factors such as energy usage, available space for the commercial solar panel system, and the the available sunlight and potential production of the buildings location.
Challenges and limitations of commercial solar net-metering
While commercial solar net-metering can offer significant benefits, there are also several challenges and limitations to keep in mind. Some of these challenges include:
- State regulatory and policies: The availability of net-metering policies can vary by state, and some states have caps on the amount of solar power that can be generated and sold back to the grid.
- Technical constraints: The amount of solar power that can be generated by a commercial solar panel system is limited by the size of the system. In order to over produce and gain utility credits, you’ll need to have a system that is large enough to offset over 100% of your existing energy usage.
- Interconnection fees and other charges: Some utilities may charge businesses fees for interconnecting their solar panel system with the grid, and other charges may apply depending on the state and utility.
States that allow commercial solar net-metering
If you’re considering commercial solar net-metering, it’s important to note that the availability of net-metering policies can vary by state. Currently, there are 38 states that have some form of net-metering policy in place for commercial solar panel systems. States that allow commercial solar net-metering include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. View a full list of states here.
It’s worth noting that the specifics of net-metering policies can vary by state, so businesses should consult with a solar panel installation professional and their local utility company to understand the details of net-metering policies in their area.
Learn more about Commercial Solar Net-Metering today
Commercial solar net-metering can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to reduce their energy costs, increase their energy independence, and reduce their carbon footprint. By generating their own solar power and sending excess power back to the grid, businesses can offset their energy bills and save money over the long-term. However, there are also several key considerations to keep in mind, including the upfront costs of installing solar panels, the availability of incentives and tax credits, and the specifics of net-metering policies in your state. By understanding these factors and working with experienced solar panel professionals, businesses can make an informed decision about whether commercial solar net-metering is the right solution for their energy needs.
If you’re interested in learning more about net-metering for your business, reach out to Genie Solar Energy today! Our team will see if it makes sense for your business.