Home Solar battery backup?

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10/29/2018 3:47 PM

Anyone have experience with purchasing a battery backup for their home solar system? I’ve been thinking about getting one because my family uses most of our “energy” at night and I hate to think that all the energy my system takes in during the day just goes by by when the sun goes down. Pros/cons? Any suggestions would be awesome!

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10/29/2018 5:02 PM

DJBobbyD wrote:

Anyone have experience with purchasing a battery backup for their home solar system? I’ve been thinking about getting one because my family uses most of our “energy” at night and I hate to think that all the energy my system takes in during the day just goes by by when the sun goes down. Pros/cons? Any suggestions would be awesome!

Crazy thought. Is it legal to hook up your neighbors and sell your daytime excess...or use it for barter instead of cash? Cali seems pretty regulated but other states maybe not so much. Like I said, just a thought.

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If it ain't yer's don't take it, If it ain't the truth dont say it, If it ain't right don't do it...Marcus Aurelius

10/29/2018 5:08 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/29/2018 5:08 PM

I'm not familiar with solar setups, but I always figured there was battery storage for the energy they produce.

How do you utilize solar then? Is it just pumped into the grid to offset energy costs then?


PS - There's some interesting youtube videos on guys making their own 'Tesla Powerwall' battery banks from 18650 lithium batteries

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10/29/2018 5:10 PM

In Illinois the power company takes your excess and you get it back at night when you need it. I guess California doesn't work that way?

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10/29/2018 5:30 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/29/2018 5:34 PM

Until recently, any power you produced (solar, wind, whatever) went to the grid and your bill was credited. Now the power production lobbyist have mostly got that stopped. In some states you are actually taxed for your power consumption reductions. Many states are now implementing/considering taxing electric/hybrid vehicles because they are not buying enough gas (paying taxes at the pump). Remember the old Superman comics where he was in "Bizzaro World"...where bad was good, wrong was right, evil was good, insanity was sanity? Welcome to Bizzaro my friends.

This is not a political rant...so don't go there.

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If it ain't yer's don't take it, If it ain't the truth dont say it, If it ain't right don't do it...Marcus Aurelius

10/29/2018 5:38 PM

Ebs wrote:

I'm not familiar with solar setups, but I always figured there was battery storage for the energy they produce.

How do you utilize solar then? Is it just pumped into the grid to offset energy costs then?


PS - There's some interesting youtube videos on guys making their own 'Tesla Powerwall' battery banks from 18650 lithium batteries

Better make sure all those lithium cells are charging reliably at the correct votage and amperage. You ever seen a li-po blow up?

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10/29/2018 5:50 PM

Ebs wrote:

I'm not familiar with solar setups, but I always figured there was battery storage for the energy they produce.

How do you utilize solar then? Is it just pumped into the grid to offset energy costs then?


PS - There's some interesting youtube videos on guys making their own 'Tesla Powerwall' battery banks from 18650 lithium batteries

early wrote:

Better make sure all those lithium cells are charging reliably at the correct votage and amperage. You ever seen a li-po blow up?

Lol...no matter which battery, I'd locate them AWAY from the house.

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If it ain't yer's don't take it, If it ain't the truth dont say it, If it ain't right don't do it...Marcus Aurelius

10/29/2018 6:45 PM

Ebs wrote:

I'm not familiar with solar setups, but I always figured there was battery storage for the energy they produce.

How do you utilize solar then? Is it just pumped into the grid to offset energy costs then?


PS - There's some interesting youtube videos on guys making their own 'Tesla Powerwall' battery banks from 18650 lithium batteries

early wrote:

Better make sure all those lithium cells are charging reliably at the correct votage and amperage. You ever seen a li-po blow up?

I blew one of those car jumper batteries up in my man cave. Luckily I had a large fire extinguisher about 2 seconds away. Took several blasts to get it under control. I got VERY lucky. Oh, don't try to revive one of those batteries by charging it through the jumper port. smile

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10/30/2018 6:30 AM

DJBobbyD wrote:

Anyone have experience with purchasing a battery backup for their home solar system? I’ve been thinking about getting one because my family uses most of our “energy” at night and I hate to think that all the energy my system takes in during the day just goes by by when the sun goes down. Pros/cons? Any suggestions would be awesome!

As I understand it, California is a net metering State. That means that whatever excess you produce is credited to your overall bill. That assumes that your system is properly sized. If you intentionally oversize your system then the rules change. It also means that batteries would be a total waste of money. They are only useful if you are off grid.

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10/30/2018 3:57 PM


I would suggest getting some solar storage batteries and an DC/AC inverter (or two if you want to run 220 stuff).
Run the solar panels into the batts out to the inverter then to your house electric panel disconnect the electric co. feed wires replace with wires from inverter or run trough a 2 way switch so you can switch back and forth from batts to grid.
The grid tie and selling your power back to the electric co. is a total rip off as they sell your power at full rate to other customers but pay you a small percentage of that rate.
But in CA that's the best you can do i don't think they will allow you to store power and be independent.

I have been totally off grid for 10 years now in AZ. Long enough that my initial investment has paid for it's self via no electric bills for 10 years so it's all been free power the past two years and from now on.
I use Rolls renewable energy batteries and have 3 large (2 ft tall 2 ft deep 1ft wide 315 lb) 4 volt batts in series to get me to 12.with a 2000 watt true sine wave inverter and 4KW of solar panels.
https://www.solar-electric.com/su413am4vo.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwguDeBRDCARIsAGxuU8bZ0K4heMEDPe3XpJ_RMpCUxj93-ekbJ-hnHwwevAI38757VChNY9QaAur1EALw_wcB



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10/30/2018 5:44 PM

motomojo wrote:
I would suggest getting some solar storage batteries and an DC/AC inverter (or two if you want to run 220 stuff).
Run the solar panels into the batts out to the inverter then to your house electric panel disconnect the electric co. feed wires replace with wires from inverter or run trough a 2 way switch so you can switch back and forth from batts to grid.
The grid tie and selling your power back to the electric co. is a total rip off as they sell your power at full rate to other customers but pay you a small percentage of that rate.
But in CA that's the best you can do i don't think they will allow you to store power and be independent.

I have been totally off grid for 10 years now in AZ. Long enough that my initial investment has paid for it's self via no electric bills for 10 years so it's all been free power the past two years and from now on.
I use Rolls renewable energy batteries and have 3 large (2 ft tall 2 ft deep 1ft wide 315 lb) 4 volt batts in series to get me to 12.with a 2000 watt true sine wave inverter and 4KW of solar panels.
https://www.solar-electric.com/su413am4vo.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwguDeBRDCARIsAGxuU8bZ0K4heMEDPe3XpJ_RMpCUxj93-ekbJ-hnHwwevAI38757VChNY9QaAur1EALw_wcB



The grid tie and selling your power back to the electric co. is a total rip off as they sell your power at full rate to other customers but pay you a small percentage of that rate.

Not exactly true. As I said, Ca is a net metering state. That means that any excess you put onto the grid, you get full credit for. The utilities hate that because they are buying your power for .15kwh and selling it to your neighbor for .15kwh. Not a good bargain for them. The utilities are fighting tooth and nail to get rid of net metering.

Like I said, batteries are only useful if you go off grid. Going off grid also means that you do not have all the other charges that Edison heaps on you that you cant recover with solar. If you live in a place with enough sunny days, it's totally doable.

The recent rule changes have made solar a little less attractive in Ca, but still worth it.
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10/30/2018 6:16 PM

plowboy wrote:

Until recently, any power you produced (solar, wind, whatever) went to the grid and your bill was credited. Now the power production lobbyist have mostly got that stopped. In some states you are actually taxed for your power consumption reductions. Many states are now implementing/considering taxing electric/hybrid vehicles because they are not buying enough gas (paying taxes at the pump). Remember the old Superman comics where he was in "Bizzaro World"...where bad was good, wrong was right, evil was good, insanity was sanity? Welcome to Bizzaro my friends.

This is not a political rant...so don't go there.

Hybrid cars and full electric cars put as much wear and tear on the road as a gas powered car. But only the gas powered cars are contributing toward road maintenance through gas taxes at the pump. How will EV contribute to road maintenance and repairs? Or are only gas powered cars expected to be taxed? Even though both vehicles use the same road and put the same wear and tear on these roads.

It's definitely something that will need a solution in the future as more electric vehicles are on the road.

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10/30/2018 6:18 PM

motomojo wrote:
I would suggest getting some solar storage batteries and an DC/AC inverter (or two if you want to run 220 stuff).
Run the solar panels into the batts out to the inverter then to your house electric panel disconnect the electric co. feed wires replace with wires from inverter or run trough a 2 way switch so you can switch back and forth from batts to grid.
The grid tie and selling your power back to the electric co. is a total rip off as they sell your power at full rate to other customers but pay you a small percentage of that rate.
But in CA that's the best you can do i don't think they will allow you to store power and be independent.

I have been totally off grid for 10 years now in AZ. Long enough that my initial investment has paid for it's self via no electric bills for 10 years so it's all been free power the past two years and from now on.
I use Rolls renewable energy batteries and have 3 large (2 ft tall 2 ft deep 1ft wide 315 lb) 4 volt batts in series to get me to 12.with a 2000 watt true sine wave inverter and 4KW of solar panels.
https://www.solar-electric.com/su413am4vo.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwguDeBRDCARIsAGxuU8bZ0K4heMEDPe3XpJ_RMpCUxj93-ekbJ-hnHwwevAI38757VChNY9QaAur1EALw_wcB



Our local PUD credits you 9 cents/kWh for the renewable electricity you contribute back to them, but you're only charged 3 cents/kWh for the electricity that you use......

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10/31/2018 6:48 PM

borg wrote: The grid tie and selling your power back to the electric co. is a total rip off as they sell your power at full rate to other customers but pay you a small percentage of that rate.

Not exactly true. As I said, Ca is a net metering state. That means that any excess you put onto the grid, you get full credit for. The utilities hate that because they are buying your power for .15kwh and selling it to your neighbor for .15kwh. Not a good bargain for them. The utilities are fighting tooth and nail to get rid of net metering.

Like I said, batteries are only useful if you go off grid. Going off grid also means that you do not have all the other charges that Edison heaps on you that you cant recover with solar. If you live in a place with enough sunny days, it's totally doable.

The recent rule changes have made solar a little less attractive in Ca, but still worth it.

Unless something has changed in CA in the last few months, SCE does not give you full credit for any power you send back to the grid. They give you pennies on the dollar for it (wholesale) and sell it to the neighbors at full price (retail). I know this because I thought we were going to get a $500 credit for our first year of overproduction, but come to find out it was only going to be $50. Luckily, we called the month before the upcoming "roll over" to inquire about our "credit". We used up our excess instead of giving it back for pennies on the dollar.

This is a horrible policy as it encourages inefficiency and waste. Instead of everyone trying to conserve and overproduce to get a 1-for-1 credit, everyone is now using up all their overproduction. Definitely not a "green" policy.

And, even if you overproduce for the year, you are still required to pay a monthly service fee just to be connected to SCE's grid. This is the type of stuff they don't tell you up front when purchasing solar.

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11/1/2018 4:11 AM

And, even if you overproduce for the year, you are still required to pay a monthly service fee just to be connected to SCE's grid.

That sounds reasonable. If you are connected, you should pay a fee.

Our local situation has changed a lot for the better the last couple years between the times I checked it out. You get paid for excess production, and there was recently an incentive put in place to install. Not sure on the amount but maybe $1/watt? Really has me thinking about it, but it's so new here and I am so far out in the woods that there is nobody local doing this yet to seriously talk to.

Ideally, we would get a new solar system, installed on top of my new garage - but that second part I can't seem to get past my other half...
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HAF

11/1/2018 6:49 AM

And California has mandated that all new homes built must have solar installed.

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11/1/2018 7:31 AM

I am not checked out on solar but they are halfway through building the first "solar city" in the middle of a cypress sanctuary swamp by me. It was a protected wildlife area and got overturned and now basically a giant cookie cutter solar neighborhood. I am actually going to buy up the cheap land surrounding it because it will go up bigtime. I heard it will take over 100 years for the solar to pay it self back in this situation.

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I don't have to be as smart as you hope to be some day anymore. wink

11/1/2018 9:30 AM

motomojo wrote:
I would suggest getting some solar storage batteries and an DC/AC inverter (or two if you want to run 220 stuff).
Run the solar panels into the batts out to the inverter then to your house electric panel disconnect the electric co. feed wires replace with wires from inverter or run trough a 2 way switch so you can switch back and forth from batts to grid.
The grid tie and selling your power back to the electric co. is a total rip off as they sell your power at full rate to other customers but pay you a small percentage of that rate.
But in CA that's the best you can do i don't think they will allow you to store power and be independent.

I have been totally off grid for 10 years now in AZ. Long enough that my initial investment has paid for it's self via no electric bills for 10 years so it's all been free power the past two years and from now on.
I use Rolls renewable energy batteries and have 3 large (2 ft tall 2 ft deep 1ft wide 315 lb) 4 volt batts in series to get me to 12.with a 2000 watt true sine wave inverter and 4KW of solar panels.
https://www.solar-electric.com/su413am4vo.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwguDeBRDCARIsAGxuU8bZ0K4heMEDPe3XpJ_RMpCUxj93-ekbJ-hnHwwevAI38757VChNY9QaAur1EALw_wcB



borg wrote: The grid tie and selling your power back to the electric co. is a total rip off as they sell your power at full rate to other customers but pay you a small percentage of that rate.

Not exactly true. As I said, Ca is a net metering state. That means that any excess you put onto the grid, you get full credit for. The utilities hate that because they are buying your power for .15kwh and selling it to your neighbor for .15kwh. Not a good bargain for them. The utilities are fighting tooth and nail to get rid of net metering.

Like I said, batteries are only useful if you go off grid. Going off grid also means that you do not have all the other charges that Edison heaps on you that you cant recover with solar. If you live in a place with enough sunny days, it's totally doable.

The recent rule changes have made solar a little less attractive in Ca, but still worth it.

Goofy Foot wrote:

Unless something has changed in CA in the last few months, SCE does not give you full credit for any power you send back to the grid. They give you pennies on the dollar for it (wholesale) and sell it to the neighbors at full price (retail). I know this because I thought we were going to get a $500 credit for our first year of overproduction, but come to find out it was only going to be $50. Luckily, we called the month before the upcoming "roll over" to inquire about our "credit". We used up our excess instead of giving it back for pennies on the dollar.

This is a horrible policy as it encourages inefficiency and waste. Instead of everyone trying to conserve and overproduce to get a 1-for-1 credit, everyone is now using up all their overproduction. Definitely not a "green" policy.

And, even if you overproduce for the year, you are still required to pay a monthly service fee just to be connected to SCE's grid. This is the type of stuff they don't tell you up front when purchasing solar.

I know that the rules have changed since it was straight net metering. It's NEM 2.0 I think. You have always had to pay a connection fee but they have added more. Apparently you produced more for the year than your total usage. In that case you became competition with other suppliers that only get about .05kwh. Why should you get paid .15kwh?

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11/1/2018 9:31 AM

Going totally off gird is ideal as you own your own power company. Not sure if it is possible inside a city or town hooked to the grid to disconnect. I guess you could just not pay your bill till they shut you off then hook up solar but i'm sure there would be issues. They must stay in control of the power creation or they're out of business.

I'm sure the only way alternative energy will work environmentally as well as providing lower cost is household by household doing their own. Any Municipal, Community,large scale project while being environmentally sound will just cause energy prices to rise for those using it and more money in the pockets of energy companies and bureaucrats.
I see alternative energy as an escape from that.

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11/1/2018 11:17 AM

So let me get this straight. They are going to get less people needing less power because people move to solar to a) be more environmentally friendly and b) save money. So, they are going to tax people to make up the loss of income from people paying for power?

Great deal for the power companies!

That would be like a grocery store taxing ex customers because they no longer come in the store.

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11/1/2018 2:00 PM

borg wrote: The grid tie and selling your power back to the electric co. is a total rip off as they sell your power at full rate to other customers but pay you a small percentage of that rate.

Not exactly true. As I said, Ca is a net metering state. That means that any excess you put onto the grid, you get full credit for. The utilities hate that because they are buying your power for .15kwh and selling it to your neighbor for .15kwh. Not a good bargain for them. The utilities are fighting tooth and nail to get rid of net metering.

Like I said, batteries are only useful if you go off grid. Going off grid also means that you do not have all the other charges that Edison heaps on you that you cant recover with solar. If you live in a place with enough sunny days, it's totally doable.

The recent rule changes have made solar a little less attractive in Ca, but still worth it.

Goofy Foot wrote:

Unless something has changed in CA in the last few months, SCE does not give you full credit for any power you send back to the grid. They give you pennies on the dollar for it (wholesale) and sell it to the neighbors at full price (retail). I know this because I thought we were going to get a $500 credit for our first year of overproduction, but come to find out it was only going to be $50. Luckily, we called the month before the upcoming "roll over" to inquire about our "credit". We used up our excess instead of giving it back for pennies on the dollar.

This is a horrible policy as it encourages inefficiency and waste. Instead of everyone trying to conserve and overproduce to get a 1-for-1 credit, everyone is now using up all their overproduction. Definitely not a "green" policy.

And, even if you overproduce for the year, you are still required to pay a monthly service fee just to be connected to SCE's grid. This is the type of stuff they don't tell you up front when purchasing solar.

borg wrote:

I know that the rules have changed since it was straight net metering. It's NEM 2.0 I think. You have always had to pay a connection fee but they have added more. Apparently you produced more for the year than your total usage. In that case you became competition with other suppliers that only get about .05kwh. Why should you get paid .15kwh?

Yes, the connection fees have gone up. And yes we produced more by being very very efficient and conservative with our usage for the first year...so most solar owners would hope that this should be rewarded by being credited something closer to retail for their production. Why? Because we have created mini power plants out in the grid, we paid to setup our systems, we are close to our neighbors who can pull from our excess, and this saves the power company money. They would still be able profit with a small markup on our production. But instead they want to pay pennies on the dollar for it.

Can you see how their buy-back pricing encourages inefficiency and waste when all solar owners would rather just crank up the heated floor or AC to make it extra comfortable instead of getting $5 back from SCE?

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11/1/2018 2:13 PM

Beeby wrote:

So let me get this straight. They are going to get less people needing less power because people move to solar to a) be more environmentally friendly and b) save money. So, they are going to tax people to make up the loss of income from people paying for power?

Great deal for the power companies!

That would be like a grocery store taxing ex customers because they no longer come in the store.

I live in AZ, and I started paying attention to APS a few years ago...

The way these companies operate is criminal. Infiltrate politics and Lobby like crazy for themselves with buckets of our money. I am a free market guy but these bastards have gone too far.

Nowadays I would like to think people are too smart to keep taking this shit. When power bills are 400$ plus a month for a 2000sq ft house something has to change.

I am actively looking for a solution, thanks for the info above.

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11/1/2018 2:40 PM

motomojo wrote:

Going totally off gird is ideal as you own your own power company. Not sure if it is possible inside a city or town hooked to the grid to disconnect. I guess you could just not pay your bill till they shut you off then hook up solar but i'm sure there would be issues. They must stay in control of the power creation or they're out of business.

I'm sure the only way alternative energy will work environmentally as well as providing lower cost is household by household doing their own. Any Municipal, Community,large scale project while being environmentally sound will just cause energy prices to rise for those using it and more money in the pockets of energy companies and bureaucrats.
I see alternative energy as an escape from that.

Many people in CA would love to be off the grid and are very capable of doing so with their current Solar System. But, as everyone has heard, they won't allow it because they need to collect their dollars somehow.

Someone like you who is very technical could probably rig up an un-permitted battery system with some illegal transfer switches to maximize efficiency without getting caught, but you would still have to pay your monthly fee to the utility company for being connected to the grid.

Pretty cool that they actually allow you to be off the grid in AZ...

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11/1/2018 3:01 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/1/2018 3:25 PM

Goofy Foot wrote:

Many people in CA would love to be off the grid and are very capable of doing so with their current Solar System. But, as everyone has heard, they won't allow it because they need to collect their dollars somehow.

Someone like you who is very technical could probably rig up an un-permitted battery system with some illegal transfer switches to maximize efficiency without getting caught, but you would still have to pay your monthly fee to the utility company for being connected to the grid.

Pretty cool that they actually allow you to be off the grid in AZ...

In my case i'm deep enough into the mountains there is no grid to tap even if i wished to do so.

Bottom line is this and if you(not you personally) don't get it you just don't know how shit works.
No matter how feel goody they make it sound.
The power companies are publicly traded stocks and they have shareholders who want steady and increasing returns on their investments and that don't happen by lowering rates to give customers lower energy cost never gonna happen.

Show me anytime in history that rates went down at any utility anywhere for any significant time.

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11/1/2018 6:37 PM

I'm not too far off retirement and will be looking to move somewhere with zero restrictions cause I'm going off grid. My July, Aug, Sep electric bills have been 600+ a month for a decade. I've got a 14 seer unit and good insulation. That's enough. My next place will be geo-thermal and solar.

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If it ain't yer's don't take it, If it ain't the truth dont say it, If it ain't right don't do it...Marcus Aurelius

11/2/2018 5:23 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/2/2018 5:32 AM

At this point in California, it's more of a building code issue than a pure legal mandate. Stop paying your Edison bill and see what happens. They turn it off. The problem is, that you have to get a building permit to install solar. The building codes do not offer a way to avoid connection to the utilities. I don't know what would happen if you just stopped paying your bill after you go solar but nobody in their right mind would. Most places in SoCal, you could not get by on just solar unless you install such a huge system that you could go several days on batteries. You could survive, but who wants to just survive? I agree that electricity costs here are out of line with the rest of the country I will refrain from offering my opinion as to why that is. The fact remains that you can drastically reduce your electrical costs with a solar system.

And contrary to what others have said, your excess production is credited to you at nearly full kwh price. It is assessed annually and adjustments are made then regarding over production. In other words, you cannot offset your bill at full price beyond your actual annual usage. You can roll over any excess to the next year but at some point your over production will be paid to you at a reduced amount.

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11/2/2018 6:25 AM

So CA credits you kwh-kwh usage for usage-production until you cover your usage, then the pay you.basically a utility rate after that? Seems reasonable. I don't like the idea that you can't get a permit to go off grid, that's just dirty.

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11/2/2018 6:58 AM

early wrote:

So CA credits you kwh-kwh usage for usage-production until you cover your usage, then the pay you.basically a utility rate after that? Seems reasonable. I don't like the idea that you can't get a permit to go off grid, that's just dirty.

Exactly right on the billing issue.

On the permit thing, I think it's more of a bureaucratic competence issue at this point. They never really expected anyone to want to cut the wires. And why would they? It's dumb. When I installed a separate meter for a friend for his Leaf, the city and Edison were clueless as to how to go about it. Even though the instructions for the connection were on the Edison site. The first time they came to connect it they disconnected the other meter that supplied power to his house. The city inspector signed off on it and walked away shaking his head. Said he had to talk to his boss. never heard from him again.

At some point, they will make provisions for off grid systems but attaching anything to the roof of a house, and connecting it to the electrical system in the house will require a building permit. That's where the issue is right now. There is nothing illegal about not getting electricity from the local power company. People go off grid all the time for not paying their bill. A guy I knew had his power shut off so he cut the seal and reconnected it. The next time they pulled the meter out of the socket. He jumpered the meter. They finally came and disconnected him at the pole. He was done then. He didn't have a ladder tall enough to reach the first rung on the pole or he probably would have tried.

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11/2/2018 7:45 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/2/2018 7:47 AM

borg wrote:

Exactly right on the billing issue.

On the permit thing, I think it's more of a bureaucratic competence issue at this point. They never really expected anyone to want to cut the wires. And why would they? It's dumb. When I installed a separate meter for a friend for his Leaf, the city and Edison were clueless as to how to go about it. Even though the instructions for the connection were on the Edison site. The first time they came to connect it they disconnected the other meter that supplied power to his house. The city inspector signed off on it and walked away shaking his head. Said he had to talk to his boss. never heard from him again.

At some point, they will make provisions for off grid systems but attaching anything to the roof of a house, and connecting it to the electrical system in the house will require a building permit. That's where the issue is right now. There is nothing illegal about not getting electricity from the local power company. People go off grid all the time for not paying their bill. A guy I knew had his power shut off so he cut the seal and reconnected it. The next time they pulled the meter out of the socket. He jumpered the meter. They finally came and disconnected him at the pole. He was done then. He didn't have a ladder tall enough to reach the first rung on the pole or he probably would have tried.

Are you assessed on the value of your solar capacity as part of your property tax? I could see that being a big "revenue stream" for counties at some point. In Ohio they raised the property taxes when they included the value of frack oil and gas in the ground even if it wasn't being extracted. Dirty as hell. That's been tamed down since the industry cooled a bit, but it was a real kick in the nuts.

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11/2/2018 10:10 AM

early wrote:

So CA credits you kwh-kwh usage for usage-production until you cover your usage, then the pay you.basically a utility rate after that? Seems reasonable. I don't like the idea that you can't get a permit to go off grid, that's just dirty.

borg wrote:

Exactly right on the billing issue.

On the permit thing, I think it's more of a bureaucratic competence issue at this point. They never really expected anyone to want to cut the wires. And why would they? It's dumb. When I installed a separate meter for a friend for his Leaf, the city and Edison were clueless as to how to go about it. Even though the instructions for the connection were on the Edison site. The first time they came to connect it they disconnected the other meter that supplied power to his house. The city inspector signed off on it and walked away shaking his head. Said he had to talk to his boss. never heard from him again.

At some point, they will make provisions for off grid systems but attaching anything to the roof of a house, and connecting it to the electrical system in the house will require a building permit. That's where the issue is right now. There is nothing illegal about not getting electricity from the local power company. People go off grid all the time for not paying their bill. A guy I knew had his power shut off so he cut the seal and reconnected it. The next time they pulled the meter out of the socket. He jumpered the meter. They finally came and disconnected him at the pole. He was done then. He didn't have a ladder tall enough to reach the first rung on the pole or he probably would have tried.

early wrote:

Are you assessed on the value of your solar capacity as part of your property tax? I could see that being a big "revenue stream" for counties at some point. In Ohio they raised the property taxes when they included the value of frack oil and gas in the ground even if it wasn't being extracted. Dirty as hell. That's been tamed down since the industry cooled a bit, but it was a real kick in the nuts.

I don't anything about the tax issue just for solar but any property improvement that goes through the permit process will trigger an assessment.

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