Georgia Power introduced its new voluntary solar option, Georgia Power Simple Solar, for customers unable to install solar on their homes and businesses, but that want to use clean energy. The program charge customers an additional 1-cent per kilowatt hour used and purchases renewable energy credits from the utility’s solar facilities that offset and match the subscriber’s electricity use.
Simple Solar has different subscription tier for different customers, including options for large volume users, as well as option to purchase solar for special events. Already, Georgia Power has hundreds of residential and businesses signed up and Georgia-based TOTO USA became the first large-volume customer to commit to matching 100 percent of its energy usage with Simple Solar perchases under the program.
"We are pleased to increase our commitment to match 100 percent of our usage through Georgia Power Simple Solar," said Bill Strang, president of operations and eCommerce for TOTO USA. "Our partnership with Georgia Power allows us to provide both a return on investment with cost effective electricity and a return on environment with sustainable solar energy.”
After years of raising rates, attempting to implement demand charges or add fixed fees to rooftop solar customers’ electricity bills, Georgia Power entered the rooftop solar market in 2015. At that time solar advocates criticized the utility for taking steps to create a monopoly-like environment in which made it impossible for competing solar providers to enter the state’s market. The passage of the Solar Power Free Market Financing Act allowed third-party ownership of rooftop solar installations that the utility had tried to avoid by offering its own program.
With the implementation of its Renewable Energy Development Initiative and its Advance Solar Initiative, Georgia Power’s solar portfolio reached 846 megawatts in 2016 and plans to have a total of 1.6 gigawatts of solar online by 2021.
"This initiative is the latest evolution of our efforts to advance renewable energy in the state while also creating economical services and solutions for customers who want to help grow solar energy," said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of Renewable Development for Georgia Power. "Solar energy continues to offer tremendous potential for powering Georgia and we are committed to helping our customers find the solar option that works best for them."Tweet