I've gotten 2 emails in the last month from people who have installed solar panels, at great expense ($50K plus) and are getting screwed over by Hydro One.
One complaint was not getting hooked up after they bought and mounted their panels. The other was much more interesting. Seems Hydro One is not paying this person what they produce, but much less. Nearly 20% less Hydro One claims this person put into the grid compared to what their own monitoring control claims.
Both parties want to sue H1.
Problem is, their plight is not because of H1. It's because of the Liberal's, their Green Energy Act, and what the Liberals are doing in an attempt to keep the FIT program under control.
Apparently there are some 20,000 applications submitted to the government for solar FIT hookup. Assuming a modest $1000 per year these people would get for power, that's $20,000,000 per year from your pocket into the pockets of these solar owners.
These owners don't even pay more property taxes because of the panels even though it should increase their property value. Another gift from the Liberals.
I will be blunt. I have no sympathy with solar panel FIT people. Hey, if you want to have panels to supplement your own power, then go for it. But do not expect the rest of us to suffer high bills so they can retire on power income. The larger picture is more important than individuals getting screwed because of panels.
My goal is to get power rates back to affordable levels, and to provide power based on production methods that have a high Capacity Value. Capacity Value is the rate of output when demand is within 10% of peak (that value is set by the IESO). Solar and wind have zero Capacity Value hence my goal is to kill the FIT program completely, including existing contracts. I favour the Czech method of introducing a 25% surtax on solar and wind producers. That's the route we should go.
What was also interesting about the email was the power the person produced. I had heard that these panels would supply less than 20% of a normal home. With the numbers she gave me of their 2010 production, it's worse than that. She said they produced 1900kWh of power in 2010. My place, a bit lower than normal, was around 19,000 for the year. That's 10% those panels produced of what I need. Also interesting she agreed that their winter output is much less than summer output. You think! Like that wasn't predictable.
Now this person wants to get off the grid. So do the math. They would need 10 times the number of panels, likely 20 times because the panels not only have to power the home, but to power their home at night they would need batteries. Some 100 batteries at $350 each. The panels would need to also recharge those batteries during the day as well as power the house (hence more panels than you need to power just the house.)
The batteries only last 6-8 years, and need a complete replacement. So going off grid, unless you want to live like we did in the 1800's, is not possible. Not with our technology, most of which is now required.
So what's my take on the problems these panel owners are having with H1, and going have more of in the future?
As they saying goes, play with the Devil expect to get burned.
This is just the beginning of problems for panel owners.