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Solar Net Metering: How it Works and Why It Matters

Australian residents have a strong reason for embracing solar energy use. Installing solar panels can help ordinary individuals reduce energy expenses and environmental impact. Some enjoy solar and grid electricity, and some seek to go off-grid. However, net metering allows you to have the best of both worlds.
Tom Sedgwick
Updated at
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3 min

Net metering is a billing mechanism and regulatory policy that lets solar panel owners pay only for their “net” energy use. First off, your home consumes the electricity that your solar power system generates first. Solar connects to the electric grid, and you also get credit from your feed-in tariff for excess electricity generated and fed back into the grid. That utilises solar energy and avoids increasing your bill.

On the other hand, the alternative is gross metering. Gross metering just measures your solar energy system’s output and the grid’s input and gives you a feed-in tariff for the former and charges you for the latter.

Benefits of Net Metering

Net metering can save homeowners hundreds of dollars on their utility bills every year. The key reason is that when feed-in tariff is low, it makes sense to consume your self generated energy first.

This alone is a good reason to make this money-saving choice. The following are the main benefits of installing a grid-tied solar panel system:

  • Lower Energy Bills. This can offset electricity that you will use from the utility during night time. You can reduce your monthly electric bills by 50% but it depends on how large your solar power system is.

  • Powers Multiple Spaces. Not only can you power your primary residence, but also subsidiary buildings like garages, cabins and sheds. You can even power electric vehicles.

  • Minimises Your Carbon Footprint. By becoming more self-sufficient, you contribute to the conservation of precious natural resources. This is because the Solar Panel System is much more eco-friendly than fossil fuel powered generators

Net Metering Policy

The adoption of solar energy is increasing across Australia. However, the presence of incentives and Net Metering options differs from one state to another. Currently, most areas in Australia qualify for Net Metering. Back in 2011, when it first kicked off, Net Metering was only available in the following small number of locations:

  • Adelaide, SA

  • Moreland, VIC

  • Alice Springs, NT

  • Perth, WA

  • Blacktown, NSW

  • Townsville, QLD

  • Central Victoria

However, it is now available nationwide. From Tasmania to Melbourne to Sydney to Brisbane to the Cape. And out west to the NT, Adelaide and Perth!

In conclusion, if you want to make sure that you are getting net metering, contact your retailer to ensure that you have a smart meter with that capability.

Solar Energy Transition

Net metering is a fantastic way to maximise the cost savings of your solar panel system. But did you know that adding a solar battery can further enhance your net metering benefits?

Solar panels with net metering are great, but can't fully eliminate your reliance on the grid at night. However, solar batteries can bridge that gap.

1KOMMA5° took the lead in its support of the introduction of Tesla’s highly anticipated solar battery into the market. Tesla Powerwall is a smart home battery system that integrates with your existing solar system. By doing so, it can provide backup power for when the grid goes down. This feature extends Tesla Powerwall to make use of Net Energy Metering once their Powerwall system reaches capacity.

1KOMMA5° currently offers one of the most comprehensive installation services in Australia. The Tesla Powerwall Home Battery is increasingly popular as the solar battery of choice.

If you want to explore more solar batteries, check out our ultimate guide. It explains how a solar battery works for your solar setup and how they work with net metering to help you reduce reliance on the grid. Or, if you want to transition to solar power for your home, request a quotation below.

Call us today at 1300 525 451 or fill in your details below to request for a solar or home battery storage quote today to see how much you can save!


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