The energy marketplace has changed drastically over the last decade. Before solar and other distributed energy resources , the process was pretty straightforward: your home was a “buyer” of energy, and your local utility company was the “seller.” When your home needed electricity, it would automatically draw it from the electrical grid, or what we refer to as simply “the grid.”
Today, things are a bit more complicated. Not only are there are different electricity rates at different times of day (referred to as “time-of-use rates” or TOU), but there are different ways your home can get its energy. Your home can draw the solar energy produced from a rooftop system instead of energy from the grid, and a battery energy storage system can store energy for later use. Plus, some you can sell any unused solar energy back to the utility, meaning you become both a seller and buyer of energy.
However, even as the energy marketplace has evolved, customers have still had limited choices.
Rooftop solar increases the owner’s freedom of choice, as you’re able to choose whether you want to use your solar energy or buy energy from the grid. However, this is only when the sun is shining and producing solar energy; you’re stuck with using grid energy when the sun sets. Even with rooftop solar, your choice about where your energy comes from is still somewhat limited.