America needs an energy policy that ensures access to clean and reliable services. We must also ensure that electricity is universally affordable to all.
Solar power is the nation’s fastest growing source of alternative energy. According to data available from the Solar Energy Industries Association, a new solar power system is installed in the U.S. every four minutes.
These types of on-premises power systems are known as “distributed generation.” Distributed generation decentralizes power generation to the customer’s property, turning homes into miniature power plants that can provide energy for the consumer’s use and when there is excess electricity, it can be sold back to the power company.
Net metering is the billing mechanism that allows consumers with solar panels to bring their bills down to zero and sell excess electricity. Net-metered households must still connect to the electric grid that delivers power to homes, businesses, schools, etc. The costs of maintaining the grid do not decrease because some customers install solar panels. At present, you pay for what you use but everyone shares in the cost of maintaining the grid. When solar-generating customers spin their meters backwards by selling excess energy back to the utility company, they do not pay the fixed or variable cost shifting those costs to customers who can’t afford to install solar panels.
We should all be pleased with the growth of solar energy and fully support its inclusion along with other renewables in the nation’s energy portfolio. However, we cannot endorse a policy that burdens those citizens least able to afford the benefits new technology. Effective and sound policies must ensure that solar energy becomes available to middle and lower class consumers and that costs are born in an equitable manner that maximizes the benefits of new technologies while minimizing cost to all citizens.
To contact Rep. Joe Gibbons, call 954- 893-5006.