Published on December 5th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan6
Colorado Residents Support Solar Net Metering — Duh!
A new Colorado poll finds that the state’s residents support solar net metering, a standard policy in 43 states across the country that basically says that homeowners and businesses with solar panel systems should get credited the retail rate of electricity for any excess electricity they send back to the grid. In other words, it’s basically the same as if they had cut their electricity use by that amount.
This goes against the efforts of utility monopoly Xcel to change this policy. But it’s consistent with poll after poll after poll showing that consumers support greater support for solar power and think that more should be done by governments and utilities to increase the use of solar power.
A news release about the survey results summarizes the findings:
The bipartisan research team of Public Opinion Strategies and Keating Research surveyed 400 voters throughout Colorado from November 17-19, 2013. Poll results show that statewide support for net metering exceeds 70 percent in every region around the state and is greater than 60 percent across all of the key voter groups in Colorado.
Seventy-eight percent of Coloradans support net metering, with nearly half (45 percent) strongly in support. Only 11 percent of the state’s electorate indicate opposition to the policy, with a mere 5 percent strongly opposed, and another one-in-ten (11 percent) unsure of their views on this policy.
The poll also finds that Coloradans aspires to have much more rooftop solar in the future, and intend to benefit from net metering’s fair credit: A plurality of state voters (47 percent) say they do not have rooftop solar but are interested in someday purchasing it. Among these respondents, 80 percent oppose Xcel’s proposal to change the net metering policy. Even among the 46 percent of state residents who are not interested in obtaining rooftop solar, more than two-thirds oppose this proposed change to net metering.
There’s nothing surprising here. The only surprising thing is that utility monopolies like Xcel would be bullish enough to try to cut metering policies off at the knees.
Note one more very important finding from a Colorado solar study released a few months ago: “solar power systems in Colorado Xcel Energy districts provide up to $11 million in benefits for customers.”
Solar is saving the state’s electricity consumers money. Solar power providers — including homeowners and small businesses — should be paid their fair dues for that. Heck, they should be paid even more!
Read more Colorado cleantech news if you’re particularly interested in The Centennial State.