We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
Net metering refers to a billing system where owners of solar energy systems get credits (known as feed-in traiffs) by providing surplus power to the grid. A net meter works in tracking the exchange of energy between a solar energy system and the grid.
Net metering depends on these two options
When you decide to install a solar power generation system in your home, you’ll have to decide between opting for a:
- Standalone off-the-grid system.
- One that connects to the grid
Net metering enters the picture if you get a system that connects to the grid.
If you choose net metering, here's what can happen to your bill
1. You produce 'excess energy'
When the solar energy system produces more than required energy, the surplus goes to the grid.
- How it affects your bill: The meter runs backward, giving the system's owner credits for the units supplied.
2. You use more energy than you produce
If your solar energy system produces less than the required energy for how much you use, your home gets the deficit energy through the grid.
- How it affects your bill: The meter runs forward and you are charged for the deficit.
Depending on you system type, it will either send energy to the grid in intervals e.g. every 30 minutes, or at the end of the day.
Solar Run is a solar retailer who can help you install solar on your rooftop.
- Get quotes for solar panels and battery storage
- Clean Energy Council approved retailer
- NSW, VIC, SA, QLD and ACT
Note: Solar service not available in the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia.
What about gross metering?
A gross meter measures the import and export of power separately. In this case, you provide all the energy your solar energy system produces to the grid while using power from the grid at the same time. At the end of the month, while you pay for the power you use, you receive compensation for the power you pump into the grid.Back to top
Which one’s better?
Policies regarding providing power to the grid vary from one state to another. New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory offer more lucrative prices to those who opt in for the gross feed-in tariff rate. On the other hand, if you live in Victoria, Queensland, or South Australia and have nominal requirements for power, you can benefit by going the net feed-in tariff rate way. Bear in mind that switching from net metering to gross metering, or the other way around, is not particularly easy, and you might have to spend some money to accomplish this.Back to top
How can I make money through net metering?
Using solar power not only enables you to reduce how much you pay towards electricity bills — when you supply power to the grid you can expect to receive monetary benefits in return. Though not all schemes are equally lucrative and feed-in tariffs can vary from one local energy authority to the next.
You can expect your electricity provider to pay around 20 cents per kWh, and while this might not seem like much it can add up to a significant sum over time.
Taking care of tasks that involve excessive use of electricity during the day is a good idea, because you can use your own solar power for free when the sun is shining bright. By doing this, you can save about 30 cents per kWh.
When opting for net metering, you should ensure that your meter runs on an interval system. This way the system can collect and send energy to the grid every 30 minutes, as opposed to at the end of the day — and can lead to more savings in the long run.
How much can I save?
Just how much money you can save or make depends on multiple factors, including:
- The site, size, and quality of your solar power system
- Prevalent weather conditions
- Pattern of your electricity usage
- The feed in tariff you stand to receive
Why is the feed-in tariff lower than what I pay?
Power companies have to bear substantial costs to generate, transport and sell electricity. They also have to bear additional costs when they take power from an individual user and pass it on to others. These can include network costs when electricity travels over any distance; retails costs incurred marketing, billing, and providing customer support; and costs incurred because of complying with environmental schemes.
Harnessing the sun for power is certainly a good idea, and the fact that you can look forward to monetary benefits by supplying power to the grid through net metering is a definite plus.
More guides on Finder
Average SME electricity bill
Want to know if your business is paying too much for energy? We've analysed bills for power from SMEs across Australia.
Victorians winning the power bill battle: How can you beat them?
New research shows Victorians are most likely to switch energy plans and save.
Own solar panels? Feeding your energy back to the grid could soon cost you
Here's how new recommendations by the regulator will impact your feed-in tariffs.
10 best retro games (and where to buy them)
Retro games players and collectors love classic games; here are the best game picks for the most popular retro systems.
How to switch your energy plan or provider
Switching electricity plans should be easy. Find out what to consider in choosing the best energy plan to switch to in our guide.
Best thermal compound pastes in Australia
These are the 6 best thermal pastes you can buy right now in Australia.
Best home security cameras in Australia
These are the best security camera systems you can get your hands on in Australia.
Solar air conditioners
Considering switching from regular air conditioners to solar air conditioners? Find out how.
Energex network and service information
Have an issue with your power supply? Find how to reach Energex's support team.
Lower your household bills
Compare internet from over 50 providers in our broadband engine.
Check out our select picks of the best plans available.
Mobile broadband is fast becoming a viable alternative to fixed line.
Ask an Expert