Ah, the net-metering battle goes on. Utilities, particularly investor-owned utilities are continuing to fight net-metering laws in states. Thankfully rooftop solar advocates are standing up to their utilities to ensure that homeowners are able to go solar easily and receive the benefits of their system, which includes feeding solar energy back to the grid, and being compensated for it.
Colorado, one the nation’s solar hotbeds, has seen numerous attacks on net-metering and other provisions that make it easier and less costly for homeowners in the state to go solar. However, for the most part they’ve been able to work with the state’s legislature, Public Utilities Commission and utilities like Xcel Energy, to to come up with solutions that offer something for all parties to grab onto.
In the latest version of this epic battle—Xcel’s been pushing back against net-metering laws since at least 2009—the solar community is fulminating against these attacks in a series of events this week as the commission takes up issues regarding Xcel’s net-metering and other solar programs.
The solar community is holding three events this week: Solar Industry Lobby Day, a presence at the commission hearing and Vote Solar’s “Thunderclap” event on Tuesday April 8. The latter will consist of posts and Tweets sent out in a coordinated effort to stir online awareness and participation in supporting solar in the Centennial State. According to organizers, participants across Colorado will state: “I stand w/ thousands of #XcelEnergyCO customers who are speaking up for rooftop solar! #COsolarRights #copolitics http://thndr.it/1hWdmEy.” You can sign up for the event here: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/10142?locale=en.
“Coloradans should have the right to manage their own energy use and produce electricity on their rooftops. They should also receive full, fair credit for any surplus they provide to the grid for other ratepayers to use,” said Meghan Nutting, spokesperson for The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC). “Xcel should not impinge on the rights of its customers in order to protect its profits, especially because Xcel has finally admitted that rooftop solar provides net benefits to all ratepayers.”
The Solar Industry Lobby Day will also occur on April 8. In a coordinated effort, solar industry representatives and employees will be on hand at the state’s capitol to speak with Colorado legislators and other leaders about the importance of rooftop solar programs like net-metering in Colorado, which employs about 3,600 people in the state.
The following day TASC representatives will attend the PUC meeting at 1 p.m. to take input on how the state’s new net metering discussion will be structured, according to TASC. The commission will listen to industry recommendations as well as those that come from the utility to inform how it will proceed with net-metering policy in Colorado.Tweet