HellBill » Hell Bill Area: » Pay Bill Online/ Pay Bills Online » Is it okay to install grid tie solar panel system, or would it make the power company very upset

  #1 (permalink)
: I don't know if it's legal to install solar panel system for my home to save electricity. We already spent over $400.00 a month and thinking about getting 280watt solar panels with 500watt inverter to save alot of money. Is it illegal? Would it upset the power company that could come after us?

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  #2 (permalink)
: Hey man, they don't need to know about it, right? Just play it cool, real "incognito". Ain't nobody gonna be up in your crib checking out your power supplies. Peace and chicken grease.
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  #3 (permalink)
: There is nothing illegal about solar panels, BUT in some areas they must be installed by licensed professionals... although this is VERY rare, you may want to call your building inspector and ask them

as far as grid tie goes, that you would WANT done by a licensed electrician...however

you can always build your solar system, and start with 1-2 rooms at a time,
just run your wires through whatever you can stand, be it through wires run in windows or whatever,

nbut this is what i tell people who cannot afford a FULL system at once, is to start with 1 room at a time,

in the long run, you can stay grid tied' for about $50 A month (usually a min light bill after fees & taxes)
or off grid for free *no tax/fee*

the only benefit of grid tie, is you have power IF YOU NEED IT AND RUN OUT
and if you ever build a big enough system certain power companys buy back electricity you make...and some are required to buy the extra by LAW

again just search for your areas laws, or ask building inspector/light company

it is NOT illegal.,.light company may tell you rumors like
solar panels cost too much
or they never pay themselves off

but especially nowadays,..they pay themselves off QUICK, i LOVE solar, i just wish i would have started on solar sooner

if you look at a big system, check to see if your state has grants/tax credits
(basically free money if your going solar)
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  #4 (permalink)
: Hey Mana, no, the power company will not get "upset" with you for installing a few solar panels. They might fine you if you try to connect your equipment to their grid without their permission or required equipment, but they won't be upset. You have to take a good look at your bill one day to understand this. I don't know what your rate structure is, but if you're spending $400 for electricity in one month, your home probably uses 8 to 10 times the electricity ours does. Even if you turned everything off and used none, you would still get a bill, there are connection fees, taxes, and other items that are added on after the calculation is done for the amount of usage you have. The power company is happy to let you produce all your own power, and keep paying them the "fees" alone, they still get money from you.

We've been powering our home from the wind and sun for 12 years now, and on average our electric bill is around $ 4 to 10 dollars a month. Most of it is connection fees and taxes, usually our usage is around 2 or 3 dollars per month. They have not complained once to me about the situation. To produce that $40 or so in electricity that we used to use each month, we have a 1.4 kilowatt solar array, a 1 kw wind turbine, solar water preheaters, solar passive gain windows, rain water collection tank and a few extras. The cost for this equipment today might be around $10,000 if you installed it yourself. What I'm driving at is that the 280 watt panels and 500 watt inverter you mentioned is not going to save you "alot" of money, if it was hooked up properly and ran some loads in your home, you would probably save $5 to $10 per month, so your bill would only have been $390 instead of $400 recently. Your real problem is usage. We had the same problem 15 years ago. Back then we embarked on a plan to replace appliances, lighting and some electronics, and make some habit pattern changes as well. Leaving the back porch light on all day so it is on for the 12 seconds you walk in through that door at night for example, will take about another 150 watts of solar power, which might add $300 to the cost of your equipment. To put it another way, turning off the light saves you the 15 cents in electricity and $300 in equipment, what makes more sense to you?

Once we got our home pared down to just a few hundred units of usage each month, it was reasonable to add the solar equipment and wind turbine. Since then, our home has not been without power for even one minute, hard to put a price on that, but the solar equipment will never pay for itself in utility bill savings alone, it won't in your case either until you can cut back on the horrendous amount of power your home uses.

I also want to warn you about getting info about this from hacks like me online. I've learned that there are two things in vast supply in solar power, sun, and missinformation. It's amazing to me how many people are willing to offer advice on this subject who have never laid a hand on a solar panel or inverter. Check out some sources below and think about getting a subscription to Home Power Magazine, they know a lot more about this subject than the guys posting answers here. Take care, Rudydoo
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