Guerrilla solar advocates circumvent the hassle and bureaucracy by installing solar panels themselves.
Photo courtesy MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
A term coined by Richard and Karen Perez, the editors of
Home Power Magazine, the guerrilla solar movement
started when solar advocates, fed up with the bureaucracy
of utility companies, took things into their own hands.
Activists across the country are now tying their systems
into the grid without utility permission or knowledge.
Homeowners from one of the first documented acts of the
guerrilla solar movement became frustrated with the
requirement of the expensive, lockable disconnect, as well
as the multi-million dollar insurance policy. A statement
from them reads:
"Is this fair? Is it OK? No, and it rubs us just wrong
enough to decide to do it without permission, without
disconnects, and without additional insurance.
Hence, guerrilla solar."
The Guerrilla Solar Manifesto states that all energy is
freely and democratically provided by nature, and that the
monopolization of energy by utilities threatens our
environment and our planet. In sum:
"We, the Solar Guerrillas of this planet, therefore
resolve to place energy made from sunshine, wind and
falling water on this planet's utility grids with or
without permission from utilities or governments. We
resolve to share this energy with our neighbors without
regard for financial compensation. We further resolve that
our renewable energy systems will be safe and will not harm
utility workers, our neighbors or our environment."
It is unknown how many guerrilla solar grid-tied systems
exist, but a dozen of the systems are documented by
Home Power (homeowners' names omitted, of course).
Laurie Guevara-Stone lives in a grid-tied home with her
husband and son in Carbondale, Colorado. She writes and
teaches about renewable energy technologies at Solar Energy