Australia uses two types of metering when paying for solar energy. Net and Gross Metering.
In summary, Net Metering is when electricity is consumed in the house and only unused electricity is exported into the grid.
Gross Metering is when all the solar electricity generated is exported into the grid.
When the sun shines, solar electricity generated by your solar panels is used by the appliances in your home. So this means your home will importing less electricity from the grid as your home’s appliances consume electricity directly from the solar panels.
If you don’t have enough solar electricity to power your appliances, the balance required to power up your home is imported from the grid. This quantity of imported electricity is recorded by the electricity meter.
If you have surplus solar electricity, this solar electricity is recorded on the electricity meter and is credited on your electricity bill.
The electricity meter does not record the total amount of electricity generated by your solar panels. It only records the surplus solar electricity that is not used by your appliances. Additionally, the electricity meter does not record the total amount of electricity that is consumed in the home. It only records the imported electricity that is needed for when your solar panels are not sufficiently powering your home.
This is how metering is done in countries like Germany and Italy. New South Wales and Canberra have traditionally had gross metering.
The handy thing about gross metering is that your electricity bill tells you exactly how much electricity your solar system has generated without the ambiguity of the net metering approach.
Gross metering also records the entire amount of electricity that is consumed by your home.