when people put solar panels on their rooftops and in their neighborhoods through programs like net-metering, they reduce the strain on our electric grid, lower prices for all electric customers, and cut pollution to boot.
In his Sunday Wall Street Journal commentary on May 17, Brian Potts suggests that cost is the bottom line in the electric customer shift to solar, and that solar costs too much. But his defense of the utility's view of energy costs leaves a big hole in the big picture: the value of solar energy.
In the past, I have compared big, polluting fossil fuel companies to zombies. Now I feel bad. Upon reflection, I believe I may have been a little unfair -- to zombies. You might not like zombies, but you can't really blame them for being that way.
Like many other corporations looking to make hay out of the environmental movement, Xcel has been greenwashing with gusto. The new image comes replete with chirpy narration, crisp graphics and opaque accolades.
Remember your childhood fables? A wolf in sheep's clothing is still a wolf. These monopoly utilities disguising themselves as solar advocates are still just monopolies looking out for their bottom lines.
The Commission voted to value solar above the retail rate, and to allow solar customers to receive compensation at that rate for the power they produce. It may sound like a sweet deal for solar, but the reality is that VOSTs are a major red flag.
On Thursday, the Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC), the state entity responsible for regulating utilities, voted to charge ratepayers a monthly fee of 70 cents per kilowatt of solar energy installed on their roof.
All across the United States, rooftop solar panels are popping up on homes, businesses and schools like mushrooms in a forest, and utility-scale solar projects are bringing huge amounts of clean energy into our communities.