Some utilities pay customers more than others for going solar

Some utilities pay customers more than others for going solar

More people are installing solar panels.

North Carolina now ranks second in the country, behind only California, according to a major industry group.

If you have solar panels and produce extra energy, your utility will pay you for putting the extra energy back on the grid.

But, Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke found, some utilities pay far more than others.

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Let's say you produce an extra 100 kilowatt-hours.

Here's how much different utilities in the Carolinas will pay you:

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Action 9 reporter Jason Stoogenke asked Rock Hill Utilities why it pays so much less than some of the other utilities.

"I don't know that we are," director of electric Mike Jolly said. "We don't charge for the application; city time. These meters are more expensive -- electric meters that we have to install that measures what we call bidirectional energy delivered and received. We don't charge for that, and it's a significant cost to us and we're paying them for the same thing we can buy it on the market for."

And that's key.

Rock Hill can buy it on the market for 4 cents per kilowatt-hour, so it doesn't make sense to pay customers, like Ken Roberts, more than that.

Roberts said he spent $20,000 installing panels on his roof.

"Should I have bought a house somewhere else?" Roberts said.

Before you go solar:

  • Make sure your roof gets enough direct sun
  • Don't install panels on an old roof that you may be replacing soon
  • See if panels will void the warranty on your roof
  • Don't assume homeowners insurance covers the panels

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