The news from Boston on lifting the caps on solar net metering was not good this week. Please make a call/send an email (details below)
Eversource (via CEO Thomas May) is flexing its muscle in the Statehouse and the legislature, in particular the House, is responding. House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D Winthrop) has ‘pulled’ the net metering conversation from the Joint Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee and given it to Brian Dempsey (D Haverill), Chair of both the House and Joint Ways and Means Committees to work out a compromise between solar companies and the big utilities (Eversource & National Grid) ….What?! At this point the utilities have made it clear they don’t want to raise the net metering cap at all. So while big solar projects in National Grid Territory die on the vine and solar companies and jobs leave the state, legislation to raise the net metering caps is stalled because of the power of big corporate money.
It’s no surprise the big utilities don’t want the competition. Net metering supports the growth of distributed generation, especially solar, by requiring the utilities to reimburse home and business owners at retail rates for the electricity they send to the grid. Our Department of Public Utilities regulates how much profit the utilities can make on the solar they sell, so they’re losing profit on the solar they don’t sell (from our roofs and other solar companies). Don’t worry about the viability of Eversource and National Grid though – They are ‘distribution’ companies..so there are charges (and profit) on services they provide, no matter who is generating the electricity. And by the way, we only get about 2% of our electricity from renewables right now. The MA Solar Coalition has an excellent ‘must-read’ page responding to the misinformation put out about the cost of solar http://solarisworking.org/facts.
Please call or write to both Speaker Deleo and Representative Dempsey to let them know we need the net metering caps lifted now….and we don’t mean a little – “don’t throw us a scrap” (that could be their plan after the latest maneuvering). We shouldn’t have to compromise with what the utilities want, they already have too much power.
We can have democracy if we participate...and we won’t if we don’t. Here are some bullet points to draw from –
- set Solar to be at least 20% of the energy mix by 2025 (this is a compromise, other states have eliminated the cap!)
- eliminate Solar Net Metering Caps until the new incentive program starts 1/1/2017 with a robust Value of Solar study to inform the new incentive structure.
- Support Solar because it will increase local jobs, grid resiliency and reliability and mitigate our impact on climate change (which is a huge health and financial burden).
- Grandfather all current solar installed by 12/31/16 with the incentives promised.
****** Please Act Soon! ******
(and tell your friends across the state)