An Independent Entity
Of course, a customer's traditional grid energy bills, while never eliminated, would be offset by a significant portion by a sizeable solarNode. Homes with solarNodes would indeed have a more redundant power supply, while the local "grids" would be relieved of some extra load at peak evening hours, and a greater fraction of electricity consumed by those customers would be generated with greatly reduced CO2 emissions. This is the one benefit we wouldn't have to wait for. Additionally, customers would be allowed to gradually "own" this part of their energy rather than "rent" it, through equity, shares that vest over time.
Most importantly, I think, the bean-counting nature of the system would put a huge focus on conservation within the household, which under this scheme at least, becomes functionally equivalent to a sunny day. People may change their behavior when their usage data is put in front of them - in fact, I believe there are studies that show this. But since it's all automated, the data collection and the reporting being done by computers, the bean counting would be easier, and the happy results would be made available automatically, each and every day.
So, by doing the data groundwork, relying on human know-how and cooperation, distributing the solarNodes globally in an adaptively optimized, interdependent way, and decoupling the power generation from the payment mechanism, the chance for a progressive, independent, open source power company becomes possible.