Published on February 14th, 2014 | by The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC)12
HECO, will you be my Valentine?
The sun is golden,
Hundreds of HECO customers will be left heartbroken this Valentine’s Day. Having waited by the phone for months, they’ll spend another night (and likely many nights thereafter) without getting to experience the benefits of their solar systems.
Hawaii’s love for rooftop solar started years ago. Each year for the last five years the amount of rooftop solar in Hawaii has been doubling. With the highest electricity rates in the country, consumers are increasingly looking to their own rooftops to control their energy bills.
But then last September, HECO broke things off. It changed the rules. In essence, HECO said it didn’t want to see rooftop solar anymore. Hawaii solar customers didn’t see it coming, and now they are heartbroken, with solar systems sitting idle on roofs all over the state. HECO is making unsubstantiated claims that in some areas, rooftop solar is creating technical problems for HECO’s grid. In other words, “it’s not you, it’s me.”
Even though solar has been popular with HECO’s customers for years, HECO hasn’t developed a plan to modernize its grid so that its customers can have what they want: more rooftop solar.
And now customers who invested their own money to generate clean power on their roof have to continue paying the same high rates for dirty power from HECO while they wait for permission to operate their solar systems. Customers who hoped to ask HECO to go solar with them don’t know if HECO will say yes.
This Valentine’s Day, we’re looking for a little love for these sunny-eyed hopefuls. Grab a dozen roses, a box of chocolates, the boombox from Say Anything, and send a Valentine’s Card to HECO saying you want to connect. Ask them to make it work. Let’s help HECO see that more rooftop solar on its grid is the key to mending their customers’ broken hearts.