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Solar Customers of California May be Signed

Three years after it burned down, the community of Paradise, California, is still struggling to regain its feet. Pacific Gas and Electric is its “rival” – the same company that started the state’s deadliest wildfire in November 2018. Paradise has been rebuilding in the three years since the disaster. Some residents have discovered the need of relying less on the local utility and more on Solar power and battery storage.

It benefits both consumers and utilities, despite their differences over “net-metering,” a technical term for determining how much rooftop Solar users should be paid when they export excess power to the grid. The fire started just before 7 a.m. on November 8, 2018, due to a power company equipment malfunction, according to Tyler. The flames had been driven northward by strong winds near Paradise.

The skies had darkened by 9.30 a.m. and had only become brighter due to burning embers. Tyler hopped in his car and sped westward to outrun the fire that may have broadsided him after telling his neighbours to escape. Others lingered far too long. With only a few exits out of town, not everyone made it in time. Residents had to rebuild after their homes were damaged. Tyler, for example, sought to deploy greener and less expensive distributed energy options.

Homeowners and companies can generate Solar power on their rooftops and sell any excess to the grid. The electricity company, on the other hand, now wants to pay the wholesale rate. The price differential helps to support the grid, a public asset that keeps the lights on and the lights on in communities. Furthermore, rooftop Solar customers continue to use the cables to sell or buy power when they do not produce enough.

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