Today’s energy marketplace is complicated. But before solar came along, it was pretty straightforward: your home was a “buyer” of energy, and your local utilities company was the “seller.” When your home needed energy for an activity, like running the dish washer, it would automatically buy that energy from your local utility via the electrical grid — or what we refer to simply as 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 places where your home can get its energy. If you have a solar system, your home can use that energy instead of energy from the grid; and if you have solar storage, that’s another source of energy that your home can use. Plus, in some cases, homes can sell back any extra energy they make from their solar system back to the utility, turning your home into both a “seller” and “buyer” of energy.
However, even as the energy marketplace has evolved, there has been one thing that’s never been a real part of the equation: choice.
Yes, by installing a solar energy system at your home, you get to decide, to some extent, whether you’re buying energy from your utilities company or harnessing free, clean energy from the sun. But that’s only true on days when the sun is shining, and not at night, when most of us use the most energy. So your choice about where your energy comes from is limited.