Since today's solar systems are all tied to the grid, if you generate more electricity than you use, the excess goes back to your utility company, spinning the meter backward and giving you a credit for the electricity your solar panel system generated. In simple terms, net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. Net metering's billing mechanism then credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on the home's rooftop, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home's electricity use exceeds the system's output. Customers are only billed for their "net" energy use. Exported solar electricity also serves nearby customers’ loads.

"My husband saw our meter run backwards for the first time, and got all excited. We love our solar panels!", Candice Stankus, Solar Energy World Customer

"I really enjoy watching the BGE meter run backwards.", Rich Lechner, Solar Energy World Customer

"Each year we get a check from BGE for the excess energy we produce – can’t beat that!"Robyn Knopf Needel, Solar Energy World Customer


In addition to individual state Solar Energy Grant Programs and the Solar Federal Income Tax Credit, Maryland residents who have installed a solar system can also earn and sell SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Credits) to help offset the cost of their system. An SREC is a trade-able instrument that represents the environmental benefits of electricity generated from renewable energy sources. One SREC represents 1 megawatt hour of electricity.

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