Net Metering in Ontario: A Guide to Efficient Home Energy

Hello friends!

Charts calculating ROI

In Ontario, a province renowned for its picturesque landscapes and vibrant cities, the push towards sustainable energy solutions is gaining momentum. One such innovation that's transforming the energy landscape in the province is net metering. If you're an Ontario resident looking to save on your energy bills while championing renewable energy, understanding net metering is essential.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a progressive program widely adopted in Ontario, allowing homeowners with renewable energy systems to connect to the electrical grid. This enables them to generate their own electricity, offsetting the cost of purchasing power from the utility. It's a win-win; you save on energy costs while contributing to a greener planet.

How to Get Started with Net Metering in Ontario

Getting started with net metering is a streamlined process that empowers you to harness clean and renewable resources for electricity generation. Here's how to embark on this journey:

1. Contact Your Local Utility Provider: Initiate the process by reaching out to your local utility provider. They will provide valuable insights into net metering programs available in your area.

2. Application and Approval: Following this, you might need to complete application forms or provide additional information. You will typically need approval from both the province and from your municipality. This is essential for determining the optimal setup for your home or business. Once your application is approved, you're on your way.

3. Installation and Inspection: Your system will be professionally installed, ensuring its efficiency and safety. This typically takes just a few days. Net metering might seem complex, but it's a seamless process when handled by experts.

4. Monthly Meter Checks: The electricity grid company will monitor your meter monthly. Any excess power your solar system generates will be credited to your account for future use. These credits are invaluable, especially during periods of lower solar energy production.

Eligibility Criteria for Net Metering in Ontario

To make the most of net metering in Ontario, you should meet specific criteria:

  • Renewable Energy Source: Your energy system must be powered by renewable sources, such as solar, wind, water, or bioenergy.
  • Single-Meter Installation: The system should have a single-meter installation connected to the electrical utility's distribution system.
  • System Size: Your energy system's size should not exceed your premises' typical energy requirements or a maximum of 500 kW. Residential solar installations are typically limited to around 10 kW.
  • Adherence to Standards: Net metering systems must comply with rigorous technical, safety, and inspection standards of the distribution grid company.

Is Net Energy Metering Worth It?

Net energy metering offers numerous advantages for those who make the effort to connect to the grid:

  • Reduced Energy Costs: By offsetting consumed electricity with excess power you generate, you enjoy significant savings on your energy bills.
  • Environmental Benefits: You actively contribute to a greener planet by reducing reliance on traditional fossil fuels and decreasing harmful emissions.
  • Control and Self-Sufficiency: Net metering provides you with control over your energy supply, promoting self-sufficiency with your renewable energy generator.

However, it's essential to conduct thorough research and explore available options. Program eligibility and incentives can vary depending on your location and regulations.

Advantages of Net Metering

Net metering brings a plethora of benefits to the homeowner with a solar installation:

  • Clean Energy Production: Homes with net metering systems produce and use their renewable energy while contributing excess power to the main grid during peak consumption times.
  • Simplicity: Net metering is straightforward, requiring no ongoing action post-installation. A single solar system can power multiple homes.
  • Environmental Conservation: By reducing reliance on fossil fuels, net metering minimizes environmental harm and conserves natural resources.
  • Economic Benefits: Homeowners can lower their utility bills and benefit from local government incentives, such as feed-in-tariffs for renewable energy generation.
  • Energy Independence: Net metering enables homeowners to take charge of their energy supply, fostering energy independence.

Disadvantages of Net Metering

Net metering does come with some challenges:

  • Up-Front Costs: The initial investment in purchasing and installing solar panels and the associated controls can be high.
  • Production Limits: Regulations might cap how much excess electricity you can produce or how much can go back into the grid, limiting potential profits. Check with your electricity provider for the specific rules.
  • Marketplace Fluctuations: The money earned from selling excess power back to the utility company can vary, making return on investment unpredictable.
  • Incentive Discrepancies: Net metering incentives and regulations can differ from one province to another, impacting your ability to access certain benefits.
  • Maintenance: Ongoing maintenance and repairs can add to the already substantial initial costs.

Net Metering vs. Gross Metering

Net metering and gross metering are two approaches to energy management. Net metering allows homeowners to offset their electricity costs by producing their energy and sending excess power back to the grid, with credits applied at retail rates. This approach aligns electricity costs when credited or purchased.

Gross metering, on the other hand, involves exporting all generated energy to the grid at a fixed rate, separate from your consumption. The revenue from exported energy might be lower than your energy consumption costs, making it less financially appealing.

The choice between these methods depends on your individual needs and your willingness to contribute to renewable energy initiatives financially.

  • The Number of Solar Panels You Need for Net Metering in Ontario**

The exact number of panels you need depends on your energy consumption and available roof space. On average, a home in Ontario typically requires a 5-10 kW system, equivalent to approximately 14-24 solar panels, along with additional equipment.

Maximizing Excess Energy

Under net metering, homes in Ontario can earn a credit for excess energy produced by a system up to 10 kW. Unused credits can be stored for up to 12 months, allowing you to save money and support your local community.


Net metering in Ontario is a transformative approach to residential energy management. It empowers homeowners to reduce energy costs, champion environmental sustainability, and make efficient use of renewable energy resources. However, it's essential to delve into program specifics and regulations in your area. Your decision between net metering and gross metering should align with your goals, whether it's to save money or contribute to green energy initiatives. Net metering is a powerful tool, putting you in control of your energy consumption and reducing your carbon footprint while making financial sense in the long run.


  • Posted On: October 24, 2023
Hi, I'm one of the people who make's the Solar Panel Authority of Canada tick. I'm a contributor, researcher, editor and a support person. Let me know if I can help.

Comments & Replies

Be the first to comment... Fill in the form below.

Send us your feedback:

SolarPanelAuthority Home Page Blog > Net Metering In Ontario-A Guide To Efficient Home Energy
Copyright © 2010-2024 - - All rights reserved.