Saving money on costly utilities is a goal sought after by most homeowners. One of the best ways to save on electricity, which is usually one of the most significant contributors to monthly utility bills, is to switch to solar. Solar energy is much less costly than traditional energy counterparts, and can provide huge savings on how much you have to shell out each month.
There is a relatively little-known aspect of using solar energy that can not only help you save money, you can potentially even make some extra dough: selling unused energy back to the grid. Excess energy comes from using less power than the amount that is taken in by the system over a specific amount of time. Other people or business entities can sell this excess energy back to the main grid for use.
How Does It Work?
The capability to sell your excess solar energy back to the grid starts with a billing process called net metering. If you use less power during the day, while the solar system is harvesting the sun’s rays, the excess can be applied towards power use at night, when no energy is being gathered. If the amount used at night does not take up all the excess, it can then be sold back to the grid.
How to Make Some Money
While it may sound all technical and difficult, selling your excess energy is surprisingly simple and easy to do. Only a few basic steps are needed on your part, with the rest of the process handled by your installed hardware, and the grid you are selling to.
The first step is to figure out how much power you normally use. You can do this on a daily or monthly basis, depending on when checks for excess energy are cut and sent. An easy, do-it-yourself method of accomplishing this is to simply take current and past energy bills, and figure out what an overall average would be. If you want, you can also have a professional come into your home and perform an energy audit, which provides a more accurate number.
Armed with this information, you would then go about selecting how powerful of a solar system you want to get. Figure out how much energy the system you are contemplating brings in on an average day, and make sure it is in excess of the average you use. The more powerful the system, the more money you can potentially make.
What to Remember
Before you take the plunge of getting a solar-energy system to harvest and sell power, it is highly advisable to check to make sure your state offers the opportunity. An excess of 40 different states currently allow the net metering used to sell the energy, so chances are it is open to you.
Be sure to check the rates your state and power company offer for energy, and whether or not there are any caps on how much you can sell that you need to be aware of. You will also need to ensure that the type or brand of system you are planning to install can be connected to the grid of the power company that you would use. This information is readily available on the websites of most power companies.
State and federal governments also offer tax incentives for both having a solar system, and selling your energy to the main grid. This can provide an even greater amount of savings if you are eligible to claim them. As the rules call for your system to generate at least 50 percent of your power usage to qualify for these incentives, if you are harvesting enough to sell, you should definitely make the cut.
New Innovations and Technologies
The power, capability, and affordability of solar technology has increased exponentially over the past several years, and this trend seems likely to continue at a steady pace. Tesla, one of the leading companies that deal with clean, renewable energy products, has developed some of the best devices used to help you gather, store, and sell the excess energy you want to sell.
Tesla roof tiles are an alternative to traditional bolt-on panels, and offer a scalable system that you can grow over time. These tiles are much smaller in size, are easier to mount and maintain, and you can add more panels when you are ready. The more panels added, the more energy taken in, and the more money you make.
These Tesla roof tiles are combined with the Tesla Powerwall Battery, a device that stores energy when it comes in, and metes it out as it is needed. Power that is unused from the collected stores is then paid for by the main grid. It is also very helpful with keeping your home powered if there is ever a power outage.
While it may take a sizable upfront cost to install a solar system capable of generating enough energy for you to sell to the grid, it will definitely pay for itself over time. The savings you reap in utility costs, as well as capital gained by selling excess energy, is an excellent long-term investment.