Analysis shows the utility has raised bills $26 annually over the last 11 years.

Analysis shows the utility has raised bills $26 annually over the last 11 years.

sj_zero
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31M

The thing that’s really sinister is that you’ll actually get in trouble for going off grid in a lot of places.

Like, you could be producing all the food all the water all the electricity that you would ever need and then the state will step in and tell you that that’s not acceptable. It’s literally illegal to not have grid power.

This sort of thing is stuff that you don’t think about, because most of us live on grid, but it’s kind of messed up when you think about it. You are being forced to pay for a service that you don’t want.

poVoq
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admin
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11M

I know this for water and sewerage (for which there are some good reasons), but grid power? Can you give an example where this is illegal?

sj_zero
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fedilink
31M

https://www.primalsurvivor.net/living-off-grid-legal/

This is a great site that discusses the laws per-state by service type, and several states make it illegal to disconnect from the grid. Besides state laws, there’s also local codes and zoning laws requiring connection to the electrical grid.

I’ve also seen stories where parents living off the grid with children could have issues with social services if the local authorities consider grid electricity, city water and city sewer to be basic services and a lack of them may constitute neglect. That being said, I suspect that while that may legally be the case, social services probably aren’t going to spend a lot of time seeking out otherwise idyllic families that happen to have some solar panels and a battery bank, and a well and a septic field.

poVoq
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21M

Somewhat playing devils advocate here, but I think this will become normal the more solar PV there is.

There is also a certain logic behind such fees: in a typical grid-connected solar PV system you are only feeding into the network when you have excess power, which usually happens when other people also have excess power and as the result the prices for power have even temporarily become negative in countries with lots of PV installed. Thus from the perspective of the grid provider this feed in helps little and might even produce costs for them.

On the other hand they are providing a battery like service to grid connected PV owners, and storage is expensive as anyone knows that compared grid linked and off-grid solar PV solutions. Of course you are still paying for the power they provide, but with the solar PV in place it is pretty much guaranteed that you will only ask for power during evening peak loads, during which they also have to pay the most for the power they provide. So the mix-caluculation of a 24/7 same price that they offer to other customers doesn’t work for those with a solar PV system.

I think in general it would be good to have more grid-power contracts with different pricing per hour. This is already quite common for commercial contracts, but for home users it is still rare AFAIK. Then people would think about putting a timer on their washing machines etc. to only run during cheaper daytime hours and the power provided by solar PV could be utilized more efficiently by shaping demand.

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