Solar Power and Your Electric Company – Electricity Buy-Back Programs
When of the largest advances in recent years in renewable energy is what is called "net metering." Net metering allows homeowners who produce their own solar, wind, or other type or renewable energy, the ability to sell back electricity to their local utility. If you create surplus electricity that is not used by you to power your home, you can actually gain a profit that gets carried over to next month's bill. If you go on vacation for example, you create a net surplus that the electric company buys back.
When you are signing up for a electricity buy back program, you need to determine if they are buying at retail or wholesale prices. You ideally want to sell your electricity back at a retail prices, but in highly developed areas you often do not have the choice.
Austin energy provides loans for you to implement your own solar system and sell electricity back to the grid. This is part of the city's plan for distributed electricity sources. Arizona also has a buy back program that allows homeowners to sell electricity back to their utility for a sizable credit.
Pacific Gas and Electric in Northern and Southern California has one of the most advanced electricity buy back programs. PG & E has a program dedicated to finding installers and suppliers for its residential and small business customers. It is part of the California Solar Initiative which provides financial incentives to homeowners and small businesses who want to make the conversion to solar energy.
Where ever you live, you can visit the DSIRE database to find out what programs are available in your area. DSIRE lists tax and rebate options for people who want to convert to renewable electricity.