Nevada is one of several US states leading the charge toward widespread solar energy production. One of the methods being used to incentivize a switch to solar in Nevada is the net metering program offered by NV Energy. In short, net metering allows homeowners with solar panels to save on their utility bills by selling any excess energy they’ve generated back to the power grid.
The net metering program uses two main pricing plans — time-of-use (TOU) and standard rate — to determine how much energy a customer has used in a month, which they’ll then use to calculate their utility bill. Homeowners are allowed to choose between time-of-use and standard rate plans based on what works best for them. This blog post will delve into the difference between these two plans, the unique advantages of each, and which one may be the right choice for you.
How Does NV Energy’s Time-Of-Use Rate Plan Work?
Time-of-use is a rate plan used by NV Energy to bill customers according to the time of day they use solar energy. The plan has two distinct time windows: peak and off-peak hours. Peak hours are periods when customers typically use a lot of energy, resulting in high power grid load. This is usually during the day. During off-peak hours — which are at usually night — most customers use less power, resulting in a lower load on the power grid. The rates go up at peak hours and down at off-peak hours.
NV Energy also offers different time-of-use rates in northern and southern Nevada. In 2023, the winter peak hours for northern Nevada homes run from October 1st to June 30th of 2024 between 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM daily. Winter off-peak hours will run during the same period as all other hours.
For southern Nevada homes, winter off-peak hours will run from October through May at all hours of the day and night.
How Does NV Energy’s Standard Rate Plan Work?
NV energy standard rate is a billing structure that charges a flat rate for energy use, regardless of the time of day. This plan suits NV Energy’s customers who value predictability and want to avoid dealing with complex billing schedules.
NV Energy’s standard rate plans also vary between northern and southern Nevada. The current rates for homes in northern Nevada are $0.12564/kWh. For southern Nevada, residential rates are $0.15864/kWh.
Which Is Best: Time-of-Use or Standard Rate?
Generally, NV Energy’s time-of-use rate plan is a better deal because you only pay for the energy you use. Assuming that your home uses less energy during peak hours, you’ll pay less despite the higher rates. Consequently, if you’re part of NV Energy’s solar program, you’ll get more buyback credit since electricity tends to be more expensive during this period while solar energy production is highest.
You’ll also save a lot on your monthly electric bill once you shift your energy usage to off-peak hours when the rates are low. However, standard rates can be suitable if you maintain consistent energy use over the month. Unlike time-of-use, standard rates mean you can easily predict how much you will save by sending excess power to the grid.
Take Advantage of NV Energy Solar Incentives With Solar Optimum
You can save a lot on your utility bills with NV Energy’s net metering policy, but it all starts with making the switch to solar. At Solar Optimum, we’ll install a full solar system for your home that can help you take advantage of Nevada’s many solar incentives. Contact us to get your free quote and take the first step to saving with solar!