This Tip Shortens Your Solar Payback Period by 30%

You may have a solar system installed, but maybe you’re worried if the cost was really worth it. The short answer is “yes,” and you can have your system pay itself off even faster with one addition—solar batteries. By using them, you can keep current regulations, like NEM 3.0, in your favor and shorten the ROI by 30%. In this article, you’ll learn more about common policies in the United States and how solar batteries can help.

Net Metering: The Cornerstone of Solar Energy Compensation

Understanding Net Metering

Net metering makes sure you’re only billed for your net energy usage, not the total amount of power consumed. First, you can store surplus energy from the grid, effectively using it as a battery.

When your solar production exceeds your needs, you can sell it back to the grid and get a credit on your account. Another option is to use the grid to help offset low or non-existent energy production times, such as on cloudy days or at night.

How Net Metering Works

Imagine that it’s a sunny day, and your solar panels are operating at peak efficiency. They’re producing more electricity than your home needs.

That surplus energy flows back to the grid, causing your meter to run in reverse. At night, when your energy demands surpass your solar output, you draw power from the grid, causing the meter to move forward.

When you finally get your bill, you are only charged for the difference between energy contributed and consumed. Seasonal patterns are taken into account, allowing you to accumulate credits during sunny months. When it starts to get cloudy or winter arrives, that’s the time to use those excess credits.

As you can see, a well-designed solar power system can balance your annual electricity consumption.

Trends in Solar Energy Policy

The current state of solar energy policies is constantly changing, depending on where you live. Some states have introduced successor programs that pay you based on a previously calculated value of solar energy.

Other states have shifted to paying you at a wholesale rate, much lower than retail prices. In addition, these prices don’t reflect the benefit solar power brings to utilities and their customers. For example, California overhauled its net metering rules to NEM 3.0 with a similar framework.

Net Billing and the Advent of NEM 3.0

Net Billing: A New Paradigm

Unlike the credit-based net metering system, net billing involves selling surplus energy back to the utility, generally at a lower rate. This models how large-scale solar projects sell their power.

California’s NEM 3.0 program is an example of this, and it’s already having effects more than a year after its passing. Consumers need more time before their energy savings cover the cost of their initial system, roughly eight to 10 years.

NEM 3.0 has also led to a trend to help offset the lower payouts to consumers.

The Rise of Solar Batteries

Installing storage batteries with solar panels is making solar systems more economically viable. With a battery, you can store surplus energy generated during peak sunlight hours. Later, you can use all this stored energy when you need it most. Good times to do this are at night, when electricity rates are high, or when solar panels aren’t producing a lot of energy.

With solar batteries, you can maximize the self-consumption of your solar energy, reducing reliance on the grid and offsetting the lower compensation of net billing.

Solar-plus-storage systems also have a 30% faster payback period compared to solar-only setups, despite the higher investment. Your long-term savings greatly increase with a battery, making it a compelling option to overcome the recent policy changes regarding solar power.

Anker SOLIX X1 Home Battery System

Anker SOLIX has a new system set to revolutionize home energy in the first half of this year—Anker SOLIX X1. This state-of-the-art home energy storage system works seamlessly with the net billing framework, allowing you to manage energy efficiently and sustainably.

X1 features three intelligent ways to optimize energy usage. Self-powered mode focuses on maximizing solar energy consumption that you produce. Time-of-Use mode is a cost-effective feature that charges the battery when electricity prices are at their lowest. Finally, Bill-Saving Optimization mode empowers you to capitalize on high-energy prices by selling excess energy back to the grid quickly.

With substantial energy capacity and impressive power output, X1 will become an essential tool for homeowners like you to navigate and take advantage of changing energy compensation regulations.

But that’s not all. X1 also allows you to achieve energy independence and save money, making it a smart investment for any consumer concerned about the environment.

Stay Informed

Don’t miss updates on Anker SOLIX X1 and the changing regulations involving solar energy storage. Sign up now to learn more about X1 and how you can use it to enhance your solar system’s efficiency and savings.

Update! Here’s the transcript of our live chat Tuesday. The topic was Net Billing.

Live Chat Recap 1.16.24

Hi Everyone! Hoping you’ll join us shortly for a chat – this week’s topic is on Net Billing/Net Metering. Come one, come all!

Question: Can the X1 be paired with the F3800?

Answer: Paired in what way? The X1 is a whole-house solution. The X1 is a whole backup system that integrates a power module and batteries.

Q: Oh i see… so the x1 is a battery? Can the x1 be paired with the 400w solar panels from Anker?

A: The X1 will be paired with rooftop solar, and yes it is a power storage system in the form of a battery.

Q: Will Anker have these rooftop solar available if the x1 is purchased?

A: No. We have no immediate plans to sell rooftop solar:)

Q: Hello :wave: How much would this X1 start cost wise?

A: We’re not in a place to discuss price yet, but we will be releasing that information later this year. I know it’s hard to wait!

Q: I’m located in Loveland CO and can’t seem to find out what rates they do net metering at. Is there a way to find this out without bending time and space? My provider is Loveland Water and Power.
A: Their website isn’t much help, I’m afraid. So, we recommend calling them. Here’s their number XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Q: I’m new to all this but I’m assuming that net billing and metering would be calculating how much electric is used and how much is pulled from solar and selling the remaining excess back to the electric company for a discount off the electric bill?

Q: I’m considering the system for TOU to complement my solar… does that put additional strain and reduce the battery life? I have the SOLIX F3800 and two batteries.

A: No it will not add strain to the system

Q: Can the X1 be paired with the Tesla solar panels or any solar roof panels?

A: Yes. We will launch X1 AC-coupled solution first. It can be compatible very well with your existing solar system.

Q: I use Dominion Energy in Virginia. They allow net metering. It’s a credit toward bills when you have to pull from the grid. Cannot find out how long that credit was available though. 3 months? 6 months? If I don’t need to use it for X period of time will I lose it?

A: My guess is that they might change policy from time to time in response to market conditions, so best to call and ask them that.

Q: After the AC-coupled solution, the DC will follow? AC will convert straight from panel to big appliances like washers and dryer/refrigerators etc.

A: Got it. There are two main configurations of the solar system, DC-coupling and AC-coupling solutions. And we will launch the AC-coupling version first.

Q: For the X1 I should get the solar panels THEN order the X for installers to connect to the house?
A: This is one way to do it, Lawrence. It’s just a matter of preference. We will say that the cost on the X1 will be competitive, and we’ll announce it this spring.

Q: I just received the F3800. Is there a distance that can be from the solar panels? The unit is currently in the garage and it’s a two-story roof line.

A: Ask that question in this group, please. It’s all about the SOLIX F3800.

Q: How much would you estimate the installation of the HES X1 could cost in northern Virginia?

Q: Will you have the X1 on Kickstarter or any other platform like the F3800 for super earlier bird supporters?
A: No. We will be selling this to the consumer. They will hire an electrician to install it. This isn’t a DIY project.

Q: What’s the difference between AC and DC power?

A: Solar Panels produce DC and are changed to AC via a microinverter/string inverter. That AC power is sent to the grid or the batteries (and there’s an inverter in the battery that converts back to DC). AC = alternating current and DC = Direct Current. You need an inverter of some type to transform it into AC power, which is what you use in your house.

Q: Should I just wait for the X1 to come out instead of buying more F3800s?

A: Think of it this way: THe F3800 is more portable. The X1 is permanent. So, you could get a tax break on the X1. It truly depends on what your needs/wants are when it comes to backup power. If you want whole home backup with every large load in the house like air conditioning, then yes I would probably wait for the X1.

Q: Will the X1offer a lower cost per kw than the F3800? (understand pricing isn’t released yet)

A: We’re not entirely sure yet. We’re still doing the math:) So we can’t give you an honest answer beyond that.

Our next article (which will appear on and live chat topic (on Facebook) is AC-coupling and DC-coupling solutions. We hope to give you some ideas about how to choose your solar system :grin:


Very true if you can delay buying from the grid til your own stored power is depleted you buy less from the grid and more likely to buy it later when it’s cheaper.

What we lack is predictive intelligence which is informed by meteorological information. E.g. it recharges itself from the grid ahead of spike in grid demand so it buys power when off-peak.

Also if a power outage is predicted you could precharge.

Some intelligence would double the savings.

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that would be incredible. Smart charging, smart home indeed!

Please keep in mind even if you have some savings it takes some time until you receive some revenues after your invest :wink:


In Germany it could be possible that those will be shortened.

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This is a good lesson from business school:)

Your people are so progressive on these things. Perhaps because they have to be in a way that Americans don’t realize … so much land, so many vast open spaces.

Actually this is basic math :grin:but always see this as an invest into the future of mankind. This makes spending money much easier :wink: