Distinguishing Grid Electricity from Solar Power


In this day and age of increasing environmental awareness, many people are turning to renewable energy sources like solar power to meet their electricity needs. Solar power is not only eco-friendly but also a cost-effective alternative to traditional grid electricity. However, if you live in a house with solar panels, you might find yourself wondering how to differentiate between electricity generated from solar power and that supplied by the grid. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to determine which source you are using. In this blog, we will explore these methods to help you identify whether you are utilizing grid electricity or solar power.

1. Check your electricity bill

One of the easiest and most reliable ways to determine if you are using grid electricity or solar power is by examining your electricity bill. Look for any mention of solar credits or a feed-in tariff. Solar credits are payments made by utility companies to customers who export excess electricity back to the grid. If you receive these credits on your bill, it signifies that you have a solar power system installed and are indeed using solar-generated electricity. On the other hand, if there is no mention of solar credits or feed-in tariff, it is likely that you are solely reliant on grid electricity.

2. Monitor your energy usage

Another effective method to distinguish between grid and solar power is to monitor your energy usage. During the daytime, when solar panels are most productive, check if your electricity consumption decreases significantly. Solar power generates electricity when the sun is out, so if your electricity usage drops considerably during sunny hours, it suggests that you are primarily using solar power. However, if there is no significant change in energy consumption during the day, it indicates that you are likely consuming electricity from the grid.

3. Look for solar inverters

Solar inverters play a crucial role in converting direct current (DC) generated by solar panels into alternating current (AC) that can power your household appliances. To determine if you are using solar power, inspect your electrical panel or meter box for any solar inverters. These devices are typically installed near the main electrical switchboard and are easily identifiable by their distinct appearance. If you spot a solar inverter, it confirms the presence of a solar power system and that you are utilizing solar-generated electricity.

4. Observe the behavior of your electrical meter

Your electrical meter can also provide valuable insights into the source of your electricity. Traditional meters usually have a spinning disk that reflects the amount of electricity consumed, independent of its source. If you notice the disk rotating backwards during sunny periods, it indicates that you are generating surplus electricity from your solar panels and exporting it to the grid. Conversely, if the meter only registers forward movement, it is an indication that you are relying solely on grid electricity.

5. Consult a professional

If you are still unsure after considering the above methods, it is advisable to consult a professional. An electrician or a solar power specialist can inspect your system and offer a definitive answer regarding the source of your electricity. They can assess the configuration of your solar panels, the presence of inverters, and any specific arrangements with your utility provider. Seeking professional advice can provide peace of mind and ensure you have a thorough understanding of your energy usage.


Differentiating between grid electricity and solar power is not as daunting as it may seem. By examining your electricity bill for solar credits or feed-in tariffs, monitoring your energy usage, observing the presence of solar inverters, and analyzing the behavior of your electrical meter, you can determine the source of your electricity with reasonable certainty. If all else fails, consulting a professional can resolve any lingering doubts. Understanding whether you are using grid electricity or solar power is essential for ensuring efficient energy management and making informed decisions about your energy consumption.











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