1. Solar Modules
Solar modules mounted on the roof or grounds of your facility convert sunlight into DC power.
This power is sent to a device called an inverter (or power converter) which converts the DC power from the solar modules to AC power identical to that being sent to you from the utility grid.
3. Electrical Panel
Power travels from the inverter to your electrical service panel (your breaker box) where it is distributed to electrical loads throughout your facility.
4. Utility Grid
Excess power produced by the solar modules flows into the grid through your electric meter, causing your meter to run backwards and gaining you a credit with the utility company.
Net metering is an agreement between a utility company and you, the customer. The agreement states that the utility will credit your account for excess electricity you produce and feed into the utility grid.
Typically the utility will install a Time-of-Use Meter so that you can be credited for power at different rates; peak rates and off peak rates. Rates are dependent on the time of day, day of the week, and month of the year. Peak periods are typically week day summer afternoons. When you send power to the utility grid during peak times, you will receive a credit at the higher, peak rate. When you draw on your credit at off peak times your account will be debited at off peak rates.
Most people will benefit by installing the time-of-use meter. Keep in mind that you will receive a credit from the utility when you are generating more power than you are using. If all of the power being produced by your solar energy system is immediately being used, your meter will not