In 1978, the "PURPA" (Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act) was
signed to allow organizations other than utilities to produce power
(more Information ). This means that if you generate power from any
source, the utilities are required to buy it from you.
Different states and utilities have various forms of legislation
about this, called "net metering laws."
1. You are not allowed to produce power during a power outage.
This could be dangerous to a utility lineman.
2. You cannot produce more power in a year than you use-- in
other words the utility will not write you a check. The lowest that
your utility bill can be is zero. This is why one of the first
steps to a solar proposal for your home or business is an analysis
of your electric bills.
3. You may need to replace your electric meter with one that
allows this two-way flow. The Utility Company will come out after
your installation is complete to switch out your meter.
View Current Net Metering laws in the United