The Future in Utility

The future is here.  It’s time that we find a way to have self sustainable energy source.  Why not have solar energy that can be stored at individual homes?  Just imagine having a storage box like a generator that stores solar energy which can be used whenever needed.

I was out one day shopping for a computer at a local electronics store, when a sales lady came to me to sign up for a home visit on solar energy.  I’m sure that some of you had that same experience.  I said why not.  I was interested in doing it anyway, once I replaced my old roof.

The day of the visit was no picnic.  You know how time consuming these sales persons can be.  Although, I told him that I wasn’t ready for any solar panels and that I’ve already told the lady at the store, but I was willing to listen to what it was all about.  It took about three hours for his pitch and a strong suggestion to sign an agreement right away.  He assured me that they had a program where I didn’t have to pay the complete cost right away and they can put a new roof on my house with the solar panels.  It was impressive, but still it was a contract for a lot of money I wasn’t willing to make.  He left disappointed.  Yet, I had gained information that I found very interesting.

For one, the utility company was being used as a partner in this agreement.  I will still get my bills through the utility company along with a separate bill for the solar panel agreement, which would come in monthly installments.  So that’s, two bills.  Next thing is that the solar energy acquired will be hooked up to my panels and feed somehow to the utility company.  In other words, to my understanding, the electric meter would be monitoring the energy use from the solar energy and will send excess energy to the utility company which may reduce my electric bill or give me a credit on my bill.  That sounded great, but I thought it would eliminate my utility bill entirely.  I didn’t know they would still remain in the mix.  Why an additional company for the same product?  That was my question to the representative.

Apparently, the utility company is still responsible for the maintenance of the electric meter and the solar company had their own gadget to monitor and record the solar energy use.  So why two companies?  Why this complication?  Moreover, who said that I wanted my excess energy going to the utility company?  Why couldn’t I store the excess energy for later use?  That was my next question.  Unfortunately, that’s when I learned that there was no storage unit to store the solar energy.  It was fed directly into the house electrical components.  Well, that’s all I needed to hear.  I don’t need a system that I had to pay or owe over $20,000 dollars over a period of time and still get my regular utility bill.  Yeah, he did say that the agreement could be transferred over if I sold the house before the agreement ended, but I didn’t know if that was going to be a difficult sale to get new homeowners.  Moreover, he said it wouldn’t show up as a debt on my credit report.  Okay, but really?

He left with the understanding that I preferred a self sustainable energy unit.  All this time, before I knew about the details of solar panel, I had always assumed it stored it’s own energy.  But I was mistaken.

I have to ask why didn’t they come up with a solar storage generator or some other solar energy containment unit for homes?  Something safe and maintainable.  We have furnaces and oil tanks and generators, so why not something to contain the solar energy?  Where there would be vendors that maintain the unit just like they maintain furnaces and oil tanks and plumbers that fix the plumbing.  Why not?

I get it.  No one wants to lose their jobs.  But to me, there will be new jobs for maintaining the solar containment units.  Unless, it’s a matter of safety.  Maybe there is no way to safely make a solar containment unit.  Do you really believe that; with car batteries, wood or pellet stoves, chimneys, that are out there and could be just as dangerous?  Or is it really just about the money and power?


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