In the past few years, utilities across the country — from Indiana to Massachusetts to Arizona — proposed mandatory or voluntary demand charges for residential customers. With the right resources and knowledge, it is definitely possible to reduce your monthly bill on a demand charge rate. But in many situations, including often for people with solar on their roof, demand charges can lead to more expensive bills overall.
There are a number of financial incentives offered to property owners going solar. From rebates to tax incentives and net metering policies, there are many policies that bring down the cost of installing solar panels on your house. One such policy is the feed-in tariff, which, when designed properly, can provide substantial financial benefits to solar customers.
People say all the time that they want to get off the grid. Beyond just meaning getting away from it all for a while, getting off the grid has a specific technical meaning with regards to your relationship to your utility and how you get your power. So, what exactly does it mean to go off the grid? Continue reading
Renewable sources of energy are not only changing where we get our power from, but also how the fundamental economics of getting power work. This shift is creating challenges for utilities across the country, but New York is investigating using a system where utilities do a different job and it might be the next step towards making it easier to get solar panels in NY. Continue reading
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the price consumers in New York are paying for electricity today is 40 percent more than it was a decade ago. At the same time the price of natural gas, the basic fuel that is most often used to produce energy in the state has fallen by 39 percent. So why are New Yorkers paying more for their power? The WSJ postulates that utilities have been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on updates to the grid in order to raise rates and make more money. Continue reading
Can you draw power from your solar system when the sun isn’t shining? If you have a way of storing the electricity the system has produced you can. Batteries have long been used for solar power storage, but haven’t been popular until recently. With Tesla Motors announcement of a new battery for residential solar storage, it may be within the reach of many solar system users soon. Continue reading
Most of the time your relationship with your electrical utility company is pretty straightforward, but what happens when that relationship changes because you’ve installed solar on your property? The type of utility you have has a big impact on how your solar energy production is measured and accounted for when you have a solar electric system installed. The first step in understanding your relationship to your utility is understanding what kind of utility company you have. Continue reading