So… you’re going solar in Florida, and the idea is that you no longer have to deal with the power company because you are soon to be your own power source, right? Maybe you put up one of those wind turbines, or the family takes turns on the stationary peddle bike generator to run your appliances? You shouldn’t have to pay those power bills anymore if you’re capable of being ‘Off The Grid’. Adios power company, it’s just me, my trusty solar panels, and the sun now! Or… my son Jimmy. Look at him go!
The truth of the matter is that it is illegal in Florida, as well as other states, to power one’s property off the grid (for now). Doing so is a violation of the International Property Maintenance Code. Currently, utility companies get to charge a connection fee that grants you permission to draw power from them. Here’s where Net Metering comes in. If you produce more energy than you use, the power company credits you back for the excess energy your solar system puts into the electric grid. Whether it’s a month of rain or unexpected family drops in for a visit, energy usage varies, and being connected to the grid is necessary for the lights to stay on. Until solar battery backups become more affordable, and we’re required to remain tied to the electric monopolies, peace of mind lies with being on the grid. For now, at least.