When your solar system produces more energy than your home uses, your meter will run backwards! (Click image to enlarge.)

Net metering is a special metering and billing agreement between you and your electric utility. Net metering is particularly valuable in areas with high electric rates.

Your solar system may produce more electricity than you can use during the day. When this happens your meter will run backwards. You will send excess electricity to your electric utility, and generate a credit on your account. At night, your solar system will not generate electricity. You will receive electricity from your utility, and consume your credit.

Your electric meter measures and tracks the difference between the amount of electricity you receive from the utility and the amount of electricity you generate from your solar system. Your monthly statements will show the net amount of electricity consumed or produced during the month. Credits and usage will vary monthly and you may generate more credits during sunny months and use up the credits during other months.

Credits often accumulate for up to twelve (12) months. However, most utilities are not required to pay you for excess electricity or any unused credits. Therefore, make sure to get an appropriately sized solar system to cover the energy needs of the occupants in your home, and not more.

Learn more: SANYO Solar Power Answers