Owing to the growing awareness among people akin to the horrors of Climate Change and to the ever-increasing popularity of Solar Energy in the past few years, you most likely have seen solar panels on rooftops of houses or industries. Probably you’re wondering whether it is worth it or if such an investment is even sensible in the first place. Let me lay it down for you.

                The electricity you get at home or your workplace is supplied by a Power Distribution company that buys it from a power plant. The company charges you for every unit of power you consume and based on your usage, per unit cost may be higher or lower for you. Generally speaking, ALL your energy consumption is supplied by these Power Distribution companies.

Solar Power:

                Solar Energy is the energy you get from the sun that can be harnessed for use, in this case, Solar Panels are used to harness radiant energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. Now, when you have solar panels on your rooftop, you are basically generating your own energy and once you install Solar panels on your roof, you most likely won’t have to pay a dime for your electricity usage. Here’s how it works,

  • Suppose you have a 3kW solar power plant that generates 15kWh (1kWh = 1 unit) of electricity every day on your rooftop, and your average usage is 400 units of electricity every month.
    • In this case, the solar panels are generating enough for your usage. The units that you consume, are still supplied by the Power Distribution company, however, lucky for you, there is a rooftop solar plant connected that is generating the same amount of electricity.
    • The electricity generated on your rooftop solar plant is then supplied to the grid, and since the units generated (450 units) are higher than the units you consumed(400), your net charge will be for -50 units, that is, you Power Distribution company owes you 50 units worth of electricity. This process is called Net-Metering.
  • Now, even if your consumption for a few months increases, the Power Distribution company owes you for those excess units produced by the solar power plant on your rooftop, thus using the excess power generated previously, taking care of the excess consumption for that month.
  • The average life of a Solar panel is 25+ years, making it a worthwhile investment. On an average, a solar power plant pays for itself in 3-4 years, and everything it generates is like a return on investment every month.
  • It needs negligible maintenance once installed, only cleaning from once a week to once a month is required depending on how dusty the area is.
Net Metering Rooftop Solar
Net Metering for Rooftop Solar

Pros:

  • Great Return on Investment (RoI).
  • Generation of Clean Energy
  • No maintenance other than cleaning required once installed
  • Reduce Carbon Footprint
  • Off-Grid Solar Panels can work for places where there is no external energy supply
  • Pays for itself rather quickly.
  • Seamless installation, when done by a skilled team.

Cons:

  • For Grid connected systems, when the grid supply stops so does the generation from Solar plant.
  • Initial investment.