Solar Energy Doesn’t Harm the Power Grid, Despite Utility Claims

Utility companies would have you believe solar energy will harm or overwhelm the power grid, while also making power too expensive for most people to afford.

Power companies often claim net metering results in higher rates for regular customers, but this simply isn’t true!

What the Heck Is This “Net Metering” Anyway?

Net metering is a hotly contested issue, especially among the anti-solar crowd.

Solar panels produce electricity during the daylight hours, but many homeowners with panel systems don’t use all the electricity generated during that time. Net metering mandates that the owners of a solar energy system, like the kind that may be on your neighbor’s rooftop, be given credit for the electricity their system sends back to the power grid.

So, if your area gets a few particularly sunny days, you neighbor’s electric meter may — for all intents and purposes — run backward. This is a boon for other people who use electricity during those hours, since the energy generated by their system flows back into the power grid to be used by someone else.

When the panel owners come home at night, they use electricity from the grid just like anyone else, but because they’ve been getting credit for the power they’ve produced during the day, they will only pay the net difference between their electricity use and solar production.

How Lucrative Is Net Metering?

Are you imagining your neighbors sitting in a room, counting all of the money they’re making off solar power? Let’s just say that’s not entirely accurate.

It’s true that system panels can make a homeowner’s utility bills low — or even zero — but the kind of power being generated and sent back to the grid from a few panels on the rooftop isn’t going to make anyone rich.

So, What’s the Big Deal?

Many opponents of this system argue that utilities have to pay retail prices for electricity generated by solar users — electricity they could get cheaper from other sources. Or they argue that the other, non-solar customers are actually subsidizing the program.

Recent studies, however, show these claims to be false as well.

If anything, power collected from the sun is a much-undervalued resource, and it benefits everyone on the grid.

If you are interested in solar power and want to explore how net metering can benefit you and your neighbors, contact the solar experts at Intermountain Wind & Solar today. We design and install alternative energy systems for residential and commercial customers throughout the Intermountain West.

Contact IWS today and let us share the many economic and energy independence benefits you can derive from installing your own solar energy system!