Coloradans support rooftop solar. They have made that abundantly clear time and time again. A recent poll demonstrated that 70 percent of Coloradans support net metering, a critical solar policy. In December, hundreds of residents descended on Xcel headquarters to oppose the utility's attacks on rooftop solar. And at the beginning of February, Coloradans packed a Public Utilities Commission hearing room to voice opposition to Xcel's proposal to limit energy choice in the state. Homeowners understand that rooftop solar can provide savings on their electric bills and pave the way for a sustainable, clean energy future.
Xcel Energy has chosen to ignore the public -- its own customers. The utility wants to roll back net metering, a critical policy for Colorado's environment and economic growth. In 43 states, net metering gives rooftop solar customers full retail credit for the excess energy they deliver back to the grid. Utilities like Xcel turn around and sell this exported energy at the full retail rate to the solar customers' neighbors, even though they paid nothing to generate, transmit or distribute that cleaner power.
This week, The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) launched a new website highlighting Coloradans' opposition to Xcel's efforts to undermine successful solar policy. The site, cosolarvoices.com features three Coloradans' personal stories about why they support rooftop solar. Each of the speakers come from a different background but they share the conviction that rooftop solar is the key to Colorado's energy future. These voices also share frustration over Xcel's determination to hold onto its monopoly at any cost.
"We should all be able to make the choices that we want to make," says Jamie, a mom of two from Denver. "The utilities should not be controlling those choices."
Gary, a rancher and rodeo star agrees that "Xcel knows there went some profit for them, and that's all they care about."
"It's like they have the gimmes... gimme, gimme, gimme," says Richard, a veteran and lifelong Broncos fan.
These personal stories echo across the entire state. Coloradans know that rolling back net metering now would have a chilling effect on Colorado's solar industry, the jobs it creates, and the consumer energy choice it provides.
Follow Anne Smart on Twitter: www.twitter.com/alliance4solar