Your electric meter will undergo some serious improvements once you decide to go solar. Generally, for a residential connection, service wires from the utility are fed to a consumer’s house through an energy meter, where the incoming electrical energy is measured and the customer is billed accordingly. The traditional analog meters were only used to track total monthly consumption. They allowed only one way communication between the home and the utility.

However, if a customer decides to go solar, he or she cannot use the traditional electric meter. The smart meters that are used today are digital and use secure, two-way wireless technology to record the kWh usage in 15 min intervals and send it to the utility. The meters also help in matching usage with real time demands and may indirectly help in reducing the stress on the grid during high demand times.

With a solar photovoltaic (PV) system incorporated with the grid, the output of the PV system through the inverter is channeled through the electric panel box to all the household loads and the excess is sent back into the service conductors. The electric meter can also record this electricity that is being sent back. This way the utility and the consumer both stand to benefit from this arrangement. The user is paid when he or she sends excess electricity back to the grid. The energy he or she has consumed from the utility according to the meter is offset by the energy he or she sends back. This is reflected on his electricity bill.

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