Net metering is the system that utilities use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels. With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate.

Net metering policies differ from state to state – from Massachusetts to California to Hawaii – so make sure to do your homework ahead of time.

In Massachusetts, State legislators have raised the net metering cap several times already, most recently in 2014. While there is no net metering cap for small-scale residential systems, Massachusetts currently caps net metering for all systems above 25 kilowatts (kW) at 4% of peak electricity demand for private facilities and 5% for public facilities. Every electricity distribution company in the state has its own cap proportional to the size of its service area. The state’s largest distribution company has already hit its net metering caps, putting commercial projects over 25 kW on hold in 171 cities and towns across the state.

 

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