Net metering is a policy, usually set by the state and implemented by the electrical utility, that allows customers who generate renewable energy to get paid for it when it goes back into the grid.
Seems a simple enough idea, doesn’t it? Yet in practice the rules can be extremely convoluted, vary widely, and may or may not reimburse the homeowner.
New Jersey and Colorado have the most progressive net metering laws in the nation while New York and California are quite regressive.
Net metering regulations need to favor and encourage, not discourage, homeowners to install renewable power.
Renewable energy World has a useful explanation of the issues involved.
Here in Utah, we can offset our entire electric bill with net metering, but any excess becomes a credit that carries forward to the end of the year– then, if not used, it disappears. This discouirages the homeowner from producing any more elctricity than he/she needs, since there’s no benefit to generating excess.