As a homeowner, when you choose to go solar, you nearly always maintain a relationship with your local utility. This means your residential solar energy system will be “grid-tied.”
What is the Relationship Between the Solar Owner and the Utility?
The relationship you maintain with your utility with a grid-tied solar system is based on net metering. Net metering is an accounting system for energy which allows you to trade excess solar energy to the utility in exchange for credits you can use to buy energy later. This policy protects you from solar’s inconsistencies since solar power systems generally produce more power than you need during the day and not enough in the evenings and at night.
Net metering is not in the best interests of utility companies such as FPL, but it is protected by law in Florida and elsewhere.
Utility Connection Fees
When you look at your utility bill, you will see two types of costs: the connection fee and the fee for energy usage. With net metering, you will still owe the monthly connection fee, which goes to maintaining the various infrastructure needed to distribute energy with the grid. Once you go solar, your energy usage fee should be near zero because your solar power is producing the same amount of energy that you consume.
Can I Go Off-Grid in Florida?
In Florida, local courts have ruled it illegal to have an off-grid solar energy system. Exceptions may exist based on the building codes in your area or in cases where utility power is not available. We recommend consulting with your local planning department before considering an off-grid system, even if a solar provider has offered you one.