Net Metering

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How Net Metering works:

Energy Generation

When the solar panels on a commercial property generate more electricity than is being used on-site, the excess energy is sent back into the grid.

Electricity Metering

The property has a bidirectional meter that tracks both the electricity consumed from the grid and the surplus electricity sent back to the grid.

Credit Accumulation

The property owner receives credits for the excess electricity generated at the same rate that they would be charged for consuming electricity from the grid. These credits accumulate over time.

Offsetting Usage

During times when the solar panels aren’t producing enough energy (e.g., at night or on cloudy days), the property draws electricity from the grid. The accumulated credits are then used to offset the cost of this electricity consumption.


The commercial property owner or management entity is billed only for the net amount of electricity consumed from the grid, taking into account the credits earned through net metering.

Commercial Solar Design

Net Metering Explained

As most solar installers already know, net metering is a billing arrangement that allows owners of solar energy systems, including commercial properties, to receive credit for any excess electricity their solar panels generate and feed back into the grid. CNG Solar Engineering provides this overview of net metering, to help property owners, and commercial solar panel installation professionals alike, to better understand this reciprocal arrangement with selective energy utilities throughout the country.

Net metering essentially allows property owners, property management companies, and HOAs to “bank” the excess energy and use it to offset their electricity consumption when their solar panels are not producing enough energy (such as at night or during cloudy periods).

Net metering is a key incentive that encourages the adoption of solar energy systems by making them financially attractive.

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Commercial Solar Design - Net Metering

Net metering offers several benefits to commercial property owners, including reduced electricity bills, the ability to earn credits for excess energy, and a more attractive return on investment for their solar energy systems. However, net metering policies and availability can vary significantly from state to state and even across municipalities due to differences in energy regulations, utility policies, and local incentives.

Why Isn't Net Metering Available Everywhere?

Since CNG Solar Engineering serves contractors and solar installation professionals across the U.S.A., we stay in tune with the benefits solar can bring to commercial businesses. While net metering can be a powerful incentive for adopting solar energy systems, its availability and terms depend on the specific energy policies, regulations, and utility practices in a given location. As solar energy continues to grow and evolve, the landscape of net metering may also change, and alternative compensation mechanisms may become more prevalent in areas where traditional net metering is not available or viable.

If you’re a contractor operating in an area which offers net metering, you have an added selling point for prospects who are thinking of adopting a solar energy solution for their home or commercial operation. But, even where net metering is not available, switching to solar has many other benefits, including its status as a top clean energy alternative.

Regulatory Landscape

The availability of net metering is influenced by state-level energy policies and regulations. Some states have enacted supportive policies that mandate or incentivize net metering, while others may have restrictions or no specific net metering policies in place.

Utility Company Policies

Net metering is often implemented by utilities, and their willingness to offer net metering programs can vary. Some utilities may be more supportive of distributed solar energy generation and offer favorable net metering arrangements, while others may be less inclined to do so.

Electricity Market Structure

The structure of the electricity market in a given region can impact the feasibility and design of net metering programs. Competitive markets may have different net metering arrangements compared to regulated markets.

Capacity Limits

Some regions may place limits on the size of solar energy systems that are eligible for net metering. This could be based on system capacity, total enrollment in net metering programs, or other factors.

Compensation Rates

The rates at which excess energy is credited to the property owner can vary. Some states offer one-to-one credit, where each kilowatt-hour of surplus energy is credited at the retail electricity rate, while others may offer lower compensation rates.

Alternative Compensation Approaches

In some areas, net metering may be replaced or supplemented by other compensation mechanisms, such as feed-in tariffs or time-of-use rates.

Interconnection & Administrative Procedures

The ease and cost of interconnecting solar energy systems to the grid can vary, affecting the feasibility of net metering.

Trust CNG for Net Metering

Trust CNG Solar Engineering to get it right. Enhance your reputation as a solar panel system installer by delivering superior performing systems to your commercial clients, while also maximizing the benefits of net metering. Contact CNG Solar Engineering today to ensure your solar projects excel in both performance and financial return.