Earlier this week Sens. Angus King (I-Maine) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.) proposed an amendment to the Senate Energy Bill that would protect net-metered customers with solar power. The amendment would protect such consumers from rate hikes on a federal lever. Currently states, particularly like Nevada, can change net-metering rates even on existing rates.
“The Koch Brothers and their fossil fuel pals have attacked our blossoming clean energy industry at every turn. They’ve done it in state legislatures all over the country, and they’re doing it today on this amendment that Senator King and I have worked on,” said Minority Leader Reid.
“Utilities have joined the Koch brothers,” Reid said. “Utilities are cheerleading anti-competitive measures that will cost families money, and take away their opportunity to generate clean energy at home. In Nevada, our utility proposed—I say utility because 95 percent of all electricity in Nevada is owned by one company—our big utility in Nevada proposed and regulators recently agreed to slash, the value of rooftop solar for customers, and imposed those changes retroactively.”
Those changes make net-metering much less attractive to future customers and has driven out leading solar companies like SolarCity and Sunrun. That means they’ve lost thousand of solar jobs in the state.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) supports such an amendment. “The King-Reid amendment would protect hundreds of thousands of Americans who have already invested in solar systems for their homes and businesses by preserving their rights to sell power back to the electric grid,” said SEIA CEO Rhone Recsh. “Net metering is a smart, popular policy that helps stabilize the grid and saves all consumers money. It benefits the economy and the environment and it gives Americans more choice in where they get their energy.”Tweet