local power company discourages solar installs

t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭
I have been off grid since 2010, when the local power company tried to charge me more that my neighbor even though I was putting power back in the grid
my bill should have been $60....instead they charged me $120....my neighbors bill was $90...

there is no way this was possible for reasons that take longer than I want to type

anyways, jump to 2017...I go pay $1500 fine (thats another story) buy wire and conduit totaling $350 to get grid tied again....understand I was the person that got them started on solar for homeowners... along with TN andy that is also a member here
the things that changed is TVA requires certified installers to do the installation or they have to inspect and sign off on it...ok, thats fine

then when I'm about to get connected, they tell me they require a $1 million liability policy

I went off.....why didnt they tell me this at the very beginning....there is no way I am going to pay just to have solar grid tied...because that would cost more than just having regular electric....I asked why they thought I would be ok with that and that should have been the first thing they told me

what this really does is discourages people from installing solar

I ask all of you, does your power company require anything like this


  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭✭
    Happens all the time now.  APS has a whole new rate structure they have gotten through the Corporation Commission that add fees to new solar installs on top of the new rate structures. 

    Fortunately I am grandfathered in on my original rate plan for 20 years (about 13 left) :)
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,413 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Never :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,172 ✭✭✭✭
    The larger the company, the smaller the consumer. Enter the government...multiples larger than any company. 

    I am more surprised when I read of decency. You know that cigar shaped alien body that recently came close and left quickly? I figure that were looking for intelligent life .... and hightailed it.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,266 ✭✭✭✭
    Net metering customers compete with the utility and, because of politics, also supply the utility at very unfavorable rates.   They would probably prefer that you disconnect entirely.

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No explicit insurance requirement with my local utility BUT there's a broadly worded indemnity to the utility, which applies even in the case of gross negligence on the part of the utility. Cause a power outage or fry a lineman, and you had better enjoy eating cat food.

    My cat wouldn't appreciate sharing his food, so I'd be looking at liability insurance even though the utility doesn't require it, if I was considering grid-tied here.
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,413 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hey Estragon, there is a commercial on the radio down here about a guy who has cat food that is edible by humans.

    He tells his wife about is and says we can all share the bowl if we run out of food.

    She says, I want my own bowl....
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • dennis461dennis461 Registered Users Posts: 108 ✭✭✭
    I happen to live in NJ, a solar friendly state.  And I use the word state because the state regulates grid tied connections, our laws prohibit utilities from denying access or leveling exorbitant conditions. The NJ Board of Public Utilities requires a licensed electrician to do the "installation".  Not a Solar installers (there is no Solar installer license that I am aware of.

    The NJ BPU required the equipment to have a minimum number of years guarantee.
    My local township required a Professional Engineer to design for local wind/snow loading (perhaps the Township thinks this get them some protection from liability, but no insurance was required.

    Both the NJ BPU and my local utility waived their inspection.

    Now, since the two largest utilities in NJ are still installing their own solar farms, I'll bet they would prohibit grid tied homeowners if they could.  In NJ we still get Solar Energy credit (money) for kwh generated, the current price is just under $100 per MWH.
    Camden County, NJ, USA
    19 SW285 panels
    SE5000 inverter
    grid tied
  • KenMorganKenMorgan Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭
    A year late, but you should see the asinine rules here in japan for solar.   have to use one of the "approved" companies to install, they will not let you shop around for lower prices on parts, theirs or the road, and a hook up and unhook up fee that runs around 1k USD either way.  all designed to make as much money on every inch of the transaction as possible.  We put in 8k of grid tie about 4 years ago and we break even on it by the time you get finished taking it in the backside on every little thing supposedly at the 15 year mark we will start making money on it...not holding my breath.   just built a 3.8k system for my cabin as the power is always dropping out for weeks at a time and up there due to lack of users, they are pushing a new plan with the central government to have the ability to either drop service, or make the end user pay for any repairs on lines etc. if the users on that line are not profitable for them.  mind you all of this was paid for by taxes many years ago before the power companies were privatized Japan...land of the socialist government.

    18 JA solar 200 watt panels, morningstar controller(s) and a magnum 4448 inverter with all the usual junk that goes with it. and a 600 a/h 48 volt battery bank
  • t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭
    @KenMorgan .....which is why I am happy being off grid

    I got to thinking about it, during sunny days my generator may come on 1 time during the night...not enough battery storage.....but it cost me maybe 12 dollars every 2 1/2 days to run that generator when the sun is down....thats still cheaper than most people pay for grid electric
    and while I have to do a bit more to keep the electric on; checking the batteries keeping gas in the generator cleaning snow off the panels in the winter......
    I dont have to bow down to the electric gods ( utility company)  to keep the electric on, if I dont have electric, its on me....cant blame anyone else

    you really do pay for convenience in one way or another
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