Relationship between Freedom Forever your AHJ, and utility company

December 18, 2020 | 3min read

Your Authority having Jurisdiction, or AHJ for short is usually an office in your local government that has the authority to issue construction permits and perform official inspections. Your AHJ could also be your utility company. Freedom Forever has to get permits from your AHJ to build your solar system. Freedom also has to have your AHJ inspect your solar system after we build it. Your utility company also sets requirements that Freedom must meet, such as whether or not your system needs a new meter before it can deliver electricity to the utility company. There are many important steps that are part of the ‘going solar’ process and Freedom Forever makes sure to check off all those boxes and to never skip a step.

Your authority having jurisdiction and Freedom Forever

When you go solar, Freedom Forever first designs a custom solar system to fit your home and needs. Before we can build that system, we have to submit the plans for it to your AHJ. Construction can’t start until we receive the permits to build the system from your AHJ. After your system has been installed, your AHJ will inspect it to ensure that it meets local and national codes. If everything is up to code, the AHJ will issue Permission to Operate.

Freedom Forever is present when your AHJ inspects your system. If the representative of your AHJ finds anything that needs to be fixed, we schedule someone to come out and fix it right away. When your AHJ’s representative sees that everything is up to code, the AHJ will issue Permission To Operate. 

Your utility company and Freedom Forever

If your utility company is also your AHJ, then that company will issue construction permits and permission to operate. They will inspect your system to see that it meets local and national safety codes. If your home needs a new meter to connect your solar system to the grid, your utility company will install it.

Your utility company requires that you submit an interconnection agreement to them before you can connect your solar system to the grid. Freedom Forever submits that interconnection agreement for you when we submit the plans to build your solar system to your AHJ. The interconnection agreement provides your utility company with information about your planned system. If your utility company has any questions about the plans for your solar system, they will be resolved prior to construction.

After your system has been switched on

Once your system has been switched on, your utility company’s solar compensation policy will determine how much you are compensated for any power your system provides to the grid. In most cases, you’ll be compensated using a policy called net metering. But in some cases, utility companies only compensate you for power sent to their grid at their export rate, which is a lot less than you’d get under net metering. In those cases, Freedom Forever advises building a smaller system that supplies 60% of your electricity usage. The reason is that you’ll use around 100% of the power the system generates and will therefore send no power to the grid. Utility company export rates are not high enough to make supplying power to the grid worth it. If you already have a system that supplies 100% of your needs and your utility company switches to using export rates, we recommend installing home batteries. They will enable you to use all of the power you generate. Don’t worry if you are unsure if your utility company doesn’t compensate under the policy, net metering. Freedom Forever will help and guide you to a solar system that makes the most sense for your home.

Ready to go solar? Call us at 800-685-1850 or click below to get started