Understanding Solar Power and Utility Companies

There are certain services or entities that will often be discussed alongside one another, and one inescapable example here in the energy world is solar power and utility companies. These two poles have an interesting and multi-faceted relationship, relying on one another in certain areas while simultaneously competing in others.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're happy to help with all elements of commercial and residential solar panels in Boise, Idaho and Salt Lake City, Utah, including any dealings you may need to have with your utility company along the way. Here are some basics on how utility companies and solar power entities are interconnected, from their symbiotic relationship in some areas to others where they are sometimes in heavy contrast or even competition.

Most Solar Power Still Requires Grid Setup

One of the most important points to consider here is the fact that for most solar power setups, you will still need to go through your local utility company in order to receive the necessary grid connections and approvals. This is true even if you may not be receiving electricity from them (or not as much, depending on the setup).

That means that while solar power can help reduce dependence on utility companies when it comes to energy consumption, they are still integral in the installation and approval of your solar power setup.

Competition for Renewable Energy Sources

On the other hand, utility companies are also now competing against solar power entities renewable energy sources. That's because utility companies want get in on the growing market for clean energy sources which is often provided through solar installations. And yet, solar companies are hoping to provide a viable alternative for consumers who want to avoid high utility bills or increase their own energy independence.

This curious relationship between utility companies and solar providers is one that will continue to evolve as more people look for ways to use clean energy sources.

Selling Power to the Grid

Further still, in some parts of the country, solar energy users can actually sell their excess electricity back to the grid. This is an attractive financial prospect for many solar power customers, who can get compensated for renewable energy that they don't use directly.

Once again, this represents a nuanced relationship between solar power and utility companies, one that is evolving as the clean energy sector continues to grow.

Utility Companies and Changing Environmental Standards

Furthermore, utility companies are often adapting their regulations and rules in line with changing environmental standards. This means that they may also be open to working with solar installers on certain projects or offering incentives for customers who switch to renewable energy sources.

While some such utility companies have been reluctant about accepting solar power in the past, this is beginning to change as more and more people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprints. More and more companies are creating some kind of incentive program, whether it's for their own solar products or through connections with top local companies.

Solar Helps Keep Utility Companies "Honest"

People who don't utilize solar power for their homes are still benefitting from it, even if they don't realize it. This is because the simple presence of solar power as an alternative option can help to keep utility companies honest in terms of their pricing and customer service.

In the past, before solar power was a robust option, utility companies were basically the only game in town. They could charge exorbitant rates high above their own energy costs, knowing that people had no other choice.

But now, with renewable energy sources like solar power in the picture, utility companies are forced to stay competitive in order to remain relevant. This is a direct benefit of the relationship between solar power and utility companies, and is often seen in lower overall rates for standard energy customers.

What Does the Future Hold?

While no one can predict the future of energy with certainty, it's safe to say that solar power and utility companies will remain intertwined. They rely on each other in certain areas while competing in others, creating an ever-evolving relationship.

As solar power technology further improves, it's likely we reach a point where the majority of solar setups do not require grid connection for power at all. In the meantime, though, solar power and utility companies will continue to work together in a variety of ways to benefit both customers and businesses.

Ultimately, this relationship has the potential to not just reduce overall emissions while providing affordable energy options for consumers, but it could also make clean energy sources more mainstream and accessible than ever before.

For more here, or to learn about any of our solar power services around SLC, Utah or Boise, Idaho, speak to our team at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.

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