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Solar Energy Benefits all Ratepayers in New England

A false news about solar net metering is on the rise again and the electric utility industry is behind it. Try not to fall into the trap of believing them.

A false news about solar net metering is on the rise again and the electric utility industry is behind it.  Try not to fall into the trap of believing them.

Various investigations held by multiple states have discovered over and over again that solar net metering benefits electric ratepayers and actually allows them to save financially.  In addition to this, the advancement of solar energy use has shown aid in residential communities and has allowed for more job opportunities.  Not to mention solar use helps reduce pollution and is eco-friendly. 

However, the electric utility industry is inclining its fight to keep ratepayers from trusting any of this evidence.

In recent years, the reports of rooftop solar installations have seemingly increased, causing apprehension in the electric industry.  Some electric companies are even referring to solar technology as disruptive, in fear that the overpowering franchises could be jeopardized as a result of its continued use.  Another report showed that the Edison Electric Institute attempted to weaken state regulations that advocate customer-based rooftop solar.  

Solar net metering is a crucial aspect of the present-day energy grid which allows customers the ability to manufacture energy on their own.  It also helps customers achieve a reasonable credit for surplus power directed towards neighbors.

Reliable solar markets are dependent on net metering; proven by 40 states throughout the U.S. in which it resides.  Electric utilities have picked up on this trend and have made several attempts to target it as an additional benefit or subsidy. 

Last year, the state of Maine hosted a study, led by the Public Utilities Commission, regarding how valuable solar energy is.  Multiple pieces of evidence were presented by different stakeholders and opportunities for comments were provided.  Conclusions were open to all considerations but in the end, there was a collective agreement from all the Public Utilities Commissioners.

The final outcome concluded that solar net metering proved to be beneficial to all ratepayers.  It was also discussed that the measurement of each kilowatt-hour of solar energy a property holder puts forth is actually more valuable than what they will receive in net metering credits.

Monitoring the study again in the summer revealed that solar benefits of ratepayers were increasing, even with the claims paid to solar manufacturers being put on hold.

Without a doubt, solar net metering shows increased benefits.  According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, there is no financial swing between solar users and non-solar users.  The department also reportedly denied the electric utility’s request to increase taxes on solar net metering and proposed to have an expansion of renewable energy organizations.

Two other states, Rhode Island and New York, also took further initiatives towards boosting growth for solar net metering.  Rhode Island approved innovative renewable standards, encouraged by solar-related motivates.  New York is looking to unveil new markets in response to researched data on how to bring clean energy into communities of the electric grid.

Returning back to Maine, the state is looking to pursue residential property owners to make the switch to solar energy.  The addition of renewables will benefit the energy surplus financially as well as help decrease electric prices for all ratepayers.  The innovated solar energy will also help produce jobs that are always needed. And of course, the switch to sun-powered panels will do less damage to the environment and assist pollution control because of limited oil drilling.

The truth is, energy saved, no matter how it’s saved, is well worth it.  Using solar energy to power homes is just one-way communities can be more efficient and less harsh towards the environment.

Electric utilities seek benefits through increased profits, hence why they are so anxious to fight against the solar net metering systems which could potentially damage their monopoly franchise.  Regardless of the benefits that electric utilities intend to reach, they should not feel empowered enough to disengage improved energy equipment which ultimately offers reduced costs and cleaner energy.  


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