Guide to Going Solar » Net Metering » ComEd Net Metering

ComEd Net Metering

ComEd Net metering allows you to benefit from your solar system all day long and year round.

With ComEd net metering, ComEd gives you a credit for any exported electricity so that you benefit from all the electricity your solar system produces. Residential solar systems typically export at least 50% of the energy they produce to the grid, because solar production often exceeds household use during many afternoons (of course, just the opposite is true at night).

How ComEd Net Metering Works

Net metering allows you to get credit for excess energy you produce during the day, which you can use to offset the cost of energy at times your system isn’t producing enough to cover your usage, such as at night.  It doesn’t stop there, though. Net metering also helps with seasonality. The chart below shows an example of a home’s solar production and energy usage over the course of a year:

Net metering: electricity production vs usage graph

From March to September, this system produces more every month than this customer uses, which is fairly typical for homes in Illinois. With net metering, customers can carry over credits not only from day to night, but also from season to season. In the case above, the homeowner will be using credits built up over the summer throughout the winter (until the following spring). 

How ComEd Net Metering Works

How Net Metering Works diagram (vertical)

Net metering allows you to get credit for excess energy you produce during the day, which you can use to offset the cost of energy at times your system isn’t producing enough to cover your usage, such as at night.  It doesn’t stop there, though. Net metering also helps with seasonality. The chart below shows an example of a home’s solar production and energy usage over the course of a year:

Net metering: electricity production vs usage graph

From March to September, this system produces more every month than this customer uses, which is fairly typical for homes in Illinois and Wisconsin. With net metering, customers can carry over credits not only from day to night, but also from season to season. In the case above, the homeowner will be using credits built up over the summer throughout the winter (until the following spring). 

Understanding Your Bill with ComEd Net Metering

ComEd’s net metering program enables you to eliminate the supply portion of your bill with excess production from current or previous months.

Each of the bills below shows a number of kWh pulled from the grid. Remember, this is not your total electricity usage. It is merely the total amount used from the grid, not accounting any solar energy the home used right away. Your home uses energy from the grid whenever your system does not produce enough for your needs in the moment. For example: at night. When a solar system produces more energy than the home consumes, like on a hot sunny day, it sends excess energy to the grid. You can offset the cost of your grid usage by exporting energy to the grid at other times.

Net metering credit works a little differntly depending on if you are enrolled in fixed rate pricing (rate BES) or hourly pricing (rate BESH). The sample bills below demonstrate how your bill will be impacted when you have solar and net metering on both BES and BESH.

ComEd Bill with Net Metering and Fixed-Rate Pricing (Rate BES):

Note: this particular bill is for a customer who has a relatively small solar system that does not cover a large percentage of the customer’s usage. Typically, customers will see a greater reduction in supply charges with net metering.

ComEd bill with net metering on fixed rate pricing (BES)

This sample bill shows total usage of 2,156 kWh from the grid. The system also exported 564 kWh to the grid.

Since this customer consumed 2,156 kWh from the grid and exported 564 kWh to the grid, the ‘net’ usage was 1,592 kWh. In this case, all credits from previous months were used to cover this month’s usage, so the exports did not fully offset usage. While this customer has a relatively low amount of exports, most customers will accrue more credits in their ‘bank’ to use for future months.

Net metering credits on BES appear as a kWh credit, meaning they directly offset the number of kWh you consume from the grid on the supply portion of the bill. In this case, the customer had enough credits to eliminate supply fees of 570 kWh of electricity. Most customers will have a larger amount of exported energy, and thus will be able to eliminate the supply portion of their bill completely.

ComEd Bill with Net Metering and Hourly Pricing (Rate BESH):

The main difference with hourly pricing is that you’ll receive net metering as a monetary credit, not kWh-based. These credits can reduce not just supply, but also the other portions of your bill.

Note: this particular bill is for a customer who has a relatively small solar system that does not cover a large percentage of the customer’s usage. Typically, customers will see a greater reduction in supply charges with net metering.

Sample bill with ComEd net metering on hourly pricing.

This sample bill shows total usage of 241 kWh from the grid. The system also exported 1,507 kWh to the grid.

Since the price of electricity fluctuates every hour, the customer receives a different dollar amount for every kWh exported to the grid. Each kWh exported assumes a dollar value, which is then added to the customers net metering ‘bank’. This customer used the value of all 1,507 kWh exported this month to reduce the supply portion of his bill. As you can see, this resulted in a negative charge for supply, which in turn reduced his delivery and taxes and fees, and resulted in a Service Period Total of -$26.29.

While the Service Period Total was -$26.29, ComEd will not write the customer a check. Instead, the customer will have a Total Amount Due of $0, and roll over $26.29 into his net metering bank to use during a future month.

How to Enroll in ComEd Net Metering

Certasun will handle all the details and costs of your grid interconnection, which includes your ComEd net metering application.

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