Net-Metering is the process that allows a solar system to produce electricity from the sun and “sell” it to the utility at the same rate you pay for electricity. In Montana solar panels generate significantly more power over the summer months. The excess power feeds back into the utility grid for your neighbors to use and you receive a credit from the utility that you later consume during the cloudier months.
A system owner can put as much power, per year back into the grid as they consume. Therefore one cannot send more into the grid than you consume. The utility will not send you a check, they will let you displace the power you use.
If your solar system produces more power over a year than you use, the utility takes this power and will not reimburse you. This is why we typically size your system to produce between 95% and 98% of you power usage.
One of the best ways to size a solar electric system is to look at your utility power bill. On the NorthWestern Energy bill* in the upper left hand corner there is a graph that tells you how much energy your home consumes on a monthly basis. This information and a Google view of your site for orientation and shading, enable the SBS Solar team to design a system with your needs in mind. A site visit is then scheduled to verify information .We then follow-up with a detailed proposal that will quantify your total costs and savings.
You can provide us with your utility bill a couple ways. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org, or text a picture to your solar design team.