ladwp charging rates for off gridders

Hello newbie here

my question resides in the cate of califorina

I am thinking about installing solar panels and doing a battery bank for my home and going completely off the electric grid. Now does anyone know if LADWP is charging a fee even for off gridders??


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,520 admin
    In theory, if you leave the grid you are supposed to pay for the privilege. Basically, the state PUC allows the utilities to borrow money based on how many customers (and their average power usage). When you leave the grid, then the utilities have stranded assets and are allowed to charge you to pay back their loans directly.

    You can run into local zoning laws too... The city could red tag a home that does not have utility power/water/sewer/etc...

    A few people have gotten into trouble by using rain/well water (disconnected from city water) but used the sewer connection (which in some cities is part of the water bill)--If the people just paid the sewer fees, they would (probably) not have been in trouble.

    If you don't ask, you might be able to disconnect and run a pretty decent solar+battery power system... Of course, in bad weather, many folks use a genset to carry through a week or so of no-sun--And generators (plus fuel storage) can be their own code/safety/neighborhood noise/fumes issues.

    You would probably be pretty cutting edge if you did go off the grid "legally". And, if you did go off grid, things could always change in the future. For example, 1 person in a neighborhood is not a big issue--If 1/2 the subdivision went off grid, then the utilities would run issues of not collecting enough money to keep the infrastructure operating (at least accounting wise). The utilities will look for government help to preserve their revenue base.

    You may also have the city pass code requirements for utility power because they believe homes without power are/or can become blighted.

    In the end, with electric rates going up (pollution control, green power laws, inflation, taxes--And until recently, increasing fuel costs), in some areas (like Hawaii) it can be cheaper to go off grid--And in a decade or so, in places like Los Angeles. If the off grid moment really gains steam (improved battery costs/technology), you can bet there will be push back by the powers that be.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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