One of the best financial benefits of solar is net metering.
Once a solar system is installed at a customer’s home or business, and after local authorities inspect and approve the work as part of the permitting process, the local utility co. will replace the current watt-hour meter with a new “bi-directional” or “net-meter”. This special meter can measure not only the number of kilowatt-hours used like a traditional meter, but it also can meter the amount of electricity the solar system produces per kilowatt-hour.
Any excess power that is produced by the solar system flows back onto the grid and the meter turns backward. This excess power is then “banked” as credit by the customer and drawn on as needed during the evening and during low-solar production days. If the solar system produces more electricity than the customer uses in a month, the electric utility applies a credit, equal to the amount of excess generation, towards the customer’s next electric bill. In Pennsylvania, the electric utility credits the full retail rate for each kilowatt-hour produced by a solar system. The full retail rate is the combined cost of the generation, transmission, distribution fees itemized on your utility bill.