A Net Metering system and a MicroFIT system are exactly the same, technologically. The only difference is how your green electrons are counted (or metered) and what value they have.
A MicroFIT system sells 100% of your produced electricity to the grid at a fixed price on a long term contract. If your system generates consistently, then your income from the system will also be consistent over that 20 year period. The value of each kWh of energy you export is fixed for 20 years at the MicroFIT rate when your contract is offered. All MicroFIT income is taxable. Your electricity bills, based on your consumption, will continue as they did before the system was installed.
A Net Metered system also produces clean, green electricity but it goes into your own house first. That means that for every kWh you produce, your consumption from the grid is a kWh less. The benefit is the avoided cost of electricity. Note that this currently includes BOTH the direct cost of electricity AND a portion of the delivery charges. If you are producing more electricity than you are consuming then excess electricity goes out to the grid to be banked for later. The value of your solar electricity equals the avoided cost of electricity. As the cost of electricity rises, so does your benefit. Net metered benefit is not taxable. Your bills will be reduced by the value of your generation. The overall economics of a Net Metered system will depend on how much electricity rates rise in the coming years. Who thinks the cost of electricity will go up? Anyone? :)
As the MicroFIT rate drops and the cost of electricity rises the choice between MicroFIT and Net Metered trends away from MicroFIT and toward Net Metered. Right now, we think it's about a wash, depending on your preferences, marginal tax rates, and projections of electricity rates.
Now that's a lot to wrap your mind around. Give us a call and we can go over it with you! (705) 741-1700 or 1 877-747-6527. That's 1-877-74-SOLAR.