Everything you need to know about net metering rules in Maryland
If you are considering solar panels for your home in Maryland, you may have questions about the net metering rules. Net metering is a policy allowing you to get credit for the excess electricity your solar system produces and sends back to the grid.
In this blog post, we will explain how net metering works in Maryland, the benefits and limitations of net metering, and how you can take advantage of this policy to save money and help the environment.
What is net metering?
Net metering is a billing arrangement between you and your utility company that tracks how much electricity you consume from the grid and how much electricity you generate from your solar system. When your solar system produces more electricity than you need, the excess power flows back to the grid and spins your meter backward.
How does net metering help lower my electric bill?
Net metering reduces your monthly electric bill by offsetting the electricity you use from the grid at other times. You only pay for the net electricity you use from the grid over a billing cycle. Net metering is based on the principle that you should be compensated for the valuable electricity your solar system provides to the grid.
By exporting excess solar power to the grid, you are helping to reduce the demand for fossil fuel-based electricity, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and support the development of renewable energy in Maryland.
How do the net metering rules work in Maryland?
Maryland has one of the best net metering policies in the United States.
According to Maryland Code §7-306 and COMAR 20.50.10, net metering is available to all customers of investor-owned utilities, electric cooperatives, and municipal utilities who have a renewable energy system of up to 2 megawatts (MW) or 200 percent of their annual baseline electricity usage.
The eligible renewable energy sources include solar, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal, and fuel cells.
Are there net metering eligibility rules in Maryland?
Yes. Eligible customer-generators in Maryland will be subject to net metering approval on a first come, first served basis until Maryland reaches 3,000 megawatts of solar generation capacity.
How do I participate in Maryland’s net metering program?
To participate in net metering, your home must have a bi-directional meter installed to measure the electricity you consume from the grid and the electricity you export to the grid.
You also need to sign an interconnection agreement with your utility company that outlines the terms and conditions of net metering. There is no application fee or monthly charge for net metering in Maryland.
How does Maryland’s net metering program compensate me?
Each month, your utility company will credit you for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of excess electricity that your solar system produces at the total retail rate, the same rate you pay for electricity from the grid.
You get a one-to-one credit for every kWh of solar power you export to the grid. For example, if you pay 12 cents per kWh for electricity from the grid and your solar system exports 100 kWh of excess power to the grid in a month, you will receive a credit of $12 on your electric bill.
What happens if my solar system produces more energy than I consume?
If your solar system produces more electricity than you consume in a month, your net excess generation (NEG) credits will be carried over to the next month and applied to your future electric bills.
Should I get a larger solar system than I need to get more credits?
No. That will cost you more money than the system is worth.
At the end of each 12-month billing cycle in April, your utility company will pay you for any remaining NEG credits at the average annual commodity electricity rate, which is lower than the total retail rate.
This means you will lose some value for any excess solar power produced over a year. Therefore, it is advisable to size your solar system according to your annual electricity usage and avoid overproduction.
What are the benefits and limitations of net metering in Maryland?
Net metering in Maryland offers several benefits for solar customers, such as:
- Reducing your electric bill by offsetting your electricity consumption from the grid with solar power
- Getting more fair compensation for the excess electricity that your solar system produces and exports to the grid
- Supporting the growth of renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland
- Having access to backup power from the grid when your solar system is not producing enough electricity
However, net metering in Maryland also has some limitations, such as:
- Losing some value for any excess electricity that your solar system produces over a year
- Having to pay a minimum monthly charge to your utility company even if your solar system covers all your electricity needs
- You cannot use your solar system during a power outage without battery storage or a backup generator
Is net metering worth it in Maryland?
Yes, absolutely. Net metering is a public policy that provides financial benefits for making smarter, ecologically conscious decisions about how you receive your energy.
It is worth taking advantage of net metering programs in Maryland.
Get started with a free solar consultation
Now that you know all about the rules for net metering in Maryland, it’s time to see if solar installation is a fit for your roof. Ready to start planning your system? To start your Maryland rooftop solar project, the first step is to fill out the form so we can give you a free and quick consultation call.
Maxed Out Solar will help you evaluate your options and fully understand how net metering works for your Maryland rooftop solar installation. We will also provide a free quote for your rooftop solar system.