Clean Power

Published on February 9th, 2014 | by The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC)


New Ad Reveals Duke’s Monopoly Protection Plan

February 9th, 2014 by  

Those of you who are following net metering battles across the country (and if you’re reading this, you likely are) may have heard that Duke Energy is speaking out publicly against net metering and rooftop solar. Just last week, Duke CEO Lynn Good met with local reporters and attacked net metering to defend Duke’s monopoly.

For those of you who are new to net metering, it’s a policy in place in 43 states that gives rooftop solar customers full retail credit for the excess energy they deliver back to the grid. Utilities turn around and sell this exported energy at the full retail rate to the neighbors, even though they paid nothing to generate, transmit or distribute that cleaner power. Utilities want to eliminate net metering to stifle rooftop solar and protect their monopolies.

A new ad from TUSK (Tell Utilities Solar Won’t be Killed) launched today to highlight that Duke’s opposition to net metering is a profit-protection plan. As you’ll see, Duke CEO Lynn Good affirms that she’s just “ensuring we get paid.”

Duke’s actions align with the anti-rooftop solar playbook put forth by their trade association, Edison Electric Institute (EEI). Utilities across the country adhere to this playbook, and they have even resorted to dirty tactics to preserve their antiquated monopolies.

For example, Arizona Public Service (APS) funded a multimillion-dollar anti-solar campaign last year. An entire web of dark money surfaced when reports of APS lying repeatedly about funding phony grassroots organizations and ads attacking their own customers surfaced. Unsurprisingly, the utility trade association, Edison Electric Institute (EEI), joined APS with its own TV and radio ads attacking rooftop solar customers. Despite spending millions and damaging their own brands, APS and EEI failed. Regulators upheld net metering, and Arizonans still love solar. What they did accomplish was dragging down APS’s net approval with its own customers by 13 points.

Duke has entered the fray and should also fear the overwhelming public support for rooftop solar and an alternative to the monopoly. As TASC explained last week, utilities do have a choice. They can figure out how to adapt to avoid following in APS’s failed footsteps. Duke can still make the right choice, but Lynn Good’s words and actions indicate that she lacks that vision.

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About the Author

advocates for maintaining successful distributed solar energy policies, such as retail net metering, throughout the United States. Retail net metering (NEM) provides fair credit to residents, businesses, churches, schools, and other public agencies when their solar systems export excess energy to the grid. The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) was formed on the belief that anyone should have the option to switch from utility power to distributed solar power, and realize the financial benefits therein. The rooftop solar market has been largely driven by Americans’ desire to assert control over their electric bills, a trend that should be encouraged.

  • South Jersey Solar

    Obviously net metering is not going to last as long gone as the FiT in Germany, since it’s invisible power being put onto the grid unaccounted for. It has an inevitable demise. What needs to happen in high penetration pv areas(hawaii), is people need stop fighting this net metering battle and fight for incentives on storage and push utilities to implement a smart grid. I see Hawaii starting the storage industry learning curve which will provide much more benefit than more time cashing in on net metering for a longer time and building more resistance rather than cooperation with utilities

    • Ross

      The utilities should facilitate that rather than meekly say the average user should be telling them to do it.

  • JamesWimberley

    Duke Energy is OK with wind farms and utility solar, just against you and me interfering with the Ma Utility model with pesky independent rooftops.

  • Jim Smith

    60 minutes is a joke. they side with the power monopolies and are against solar despite the facts.

    • Ross

      Living in hope that they’ll come over to the right side.

  • Ross

    How about a 60 Minutes report on THIS.

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