ws9876ws9876 Solar Expert Posts: 399 ✭✭✭
my power coop charges me 30 a month before I use a watt because I dont use much. Outright larceny. I thought about buying my own used transformer ground mount in order to disconnect from the powerline when the house is vacant 5 months a year. I assume it would have a manual disconnect on it. Do you think the coop would allow that?


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,625 admin
    You have to talk with the Co-op. There are summer connection rates for pumping and such (California).

    I would wonder if they would charge you a re-connection fee that will be about the 1 year monthly costs though...

    If you are the only connection at the end of the line--They could also pull all of the poles and lines too. I don't know about other places, buy in suburban California, the yearly "ground rental" for poles they pay property owners and keeping lines serviced is not cheap for the company (MBA--Compare costs of idle installation vs posibile return on investment...).

    In the end, you (probably) will not "win" this one with your utility.

    We have had at least one poster here that had a cabin--And when his monthly costs reached ~$48 per month. He decided to go with a small solar+battery+inverter power system and a small genset.

    You have to look at your power needs and how much it would cost you to generate a similar amount of power from solar+genset.

    If your total bill (take 1 year Power + monthly fees divided by 1 year total kWatt*Hours) and compare with solar+genset--If you are less than $1.00 per kWH, you are most likely best sticking with your utility. If you can reduce/conserve your total electrical usage--That will allow you to save money on solar+genset fuel.

    Also--Secondary question--If you ever plan on selling the property (or even taking out a mortgage, etc.)--If you do not have a utility connection (especially if the utility pulls the wire+poles)--The value of the property and your ability to sell/take out a secured loan, may be greatly impaired. In some places, the local building code folks can red-flag the home if there are no utilities.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • DenmanDenman Solar Expert Posts: 42 ✭✭
    As Bill said, it's best to check with the local COOP to see what the rules are. The investor owned utility I work for has a monthly minimum charge. Customers have the option of having us remove the meter and avoid that, the down side is that if the NESC changes the code between when you disconnect and when you reconnect, you'd have to come up to the new standard which can be costly. The COOP here in our valley will remove the secondary loop and transformer and charge you to reinstall those if you remove the meter. Research on your specific COOP and their rules is your best friend here. 
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