What is grid connected solar PV system & its advantages ? What is net-metering for grid-tied system?

Let's break the term Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar PV System into three parts:

  • Solar PV System: A system comprising of photo-voltaic (PV) modules aka solar panels which convert particles of sunlight into electricity we can use (actually Direct Current). Solar PV system is also known as solar power system.
  • Rooftop Solar: When these solar panels are mounted or installed on the roof top of a building, this type of configuration is refereed to as rooftop solar. It could be any type of building - residential, commercial or industrial.
  • Grid Connected Solar System is also known as Grid-Tied or On-Grid Solar System. The rest of the article is dedicated to explain what grid-connected solar is, what are its advantages and about the related concept of net metering.

What is a Grid Connected Solar System? 

A solar PV system lets you create electricity using solar energy. But what if you are not able to generate enough solar electricity to run all the equipment consuming electric power?

That’s where Grid Connected Solar PV System helps.

Grid-connected solar system is one of the types of solar installation, where a solar is not the only source of electricity. Your solar PV system is also connected to the main line or power grid. That means at any given point, the loads (equipment consuming electric power) can be supplied with electricity from two sources - (i) Electricity Grid, and (ii) Solar PV Plant. 



So if you're unable to generate enough solar electricity, then take it from the main line. And if you have generated extra solar power which you cannot use, then sell it to the main line or power grid!

What is Net Metering for Grid Tied Solar System?

Import of Electricity: In case, where the loads are consuming more electricity than what is generated from Solar PV Plant, then the balance of requirement is fulfilled by the Electricity Grid. So you pay electricity grid only for the extra power which you used.

Export of Electricity: If the loads are consuming less power than what is being produced by solar, the remaining power is fed into the grid. The electricity grid pays you for all the extra solar power which you gave to them (Your Passive Income from Solar)

Offset Import and Export of Electricity using Net Metering


Net-metering is a regulatory arrangement (in form of an agreement) between the user and electricity provider, which allows the user to offset their monthly Import against monthly Export, thus essentially paying for Net consumption only. In case the Net consumption is negative (i.e., monthly export have been more than import), the credit gets carry forward to next month, and so on, until the end of Financial Year.

What happens when you tie a solar panel to the grid without net meter?

The grid tied solar rooftop system can work without net-metering, where one is able to import electricity from the utility grid, but cannot send back the excess power in the grid. This is implemented by using “export limiter”, which restricts the Solar PV system to inject any excess power into the grid.

Is Grid-Tie Solar Worth It?

Well that's subjective. Having a grid tied solar system has its advantages and disadvantages. But ultimately, it depends on lot of other parameters like what is your electricity consumption pattern, main grid power supply pattern, geographical location, etc. Best it to contact a rooftop solar company near you and get your place professionally surveyed by solar energy experts.

Advantages of Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar System

  • Potentially 100% up-time, power usage habits don’t need to change as drastically, possible to eliminate power bill or even make money.
  • Generates passive income through the facility to export excess electricity to the utility company. (Net metering tariffs can vary depending on which state you live in and which electricity supplier you use and are subject to change )
  • Easier solar installation and ensures electricity even with lower solar power generation capacity
  • Most cost-effective and popular option.
  • Low-maintenance
  • Non-polluting 


Looking for a rooftop solar company for grid-tied system? 

If you are wondering how to select a good solar company, then this may interest you:

About Insolergy Technologies 
Insolergy is a leading Indian solar energy company in rooftop solar segment. The company is an MNRE channel partner for rooftop solar grid connected solar system installation and can help in availing solar subsidy.


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