Clean Power

Published on February 25th, 2014 | by The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC)


New Website Highlights Popularity of Rooftop Solar, Opposition to Xcel’s Attacks on Solar

February 25th, 2014 by  

Colorado Solar

Coloradans support rooftop solar. They have made that abundantly clear time and time again. A recent poll demonstrated that 70% of Coloradans support net metering, a critical solar policy. In December, hundreds of residents descended on Xcel headquarters to oppose the utility’s attacks on rooftop solar. And at the beginning of February, Coloradans packed a Public Utilities Commission hearing room to voice opposition to Xcel’s proposal to limit energy choice in the state. Homeowners understand that rooftop solar can provide savings on their electric bills and pave the way for a strong, clean energy future.

Xcel Energy has chosen to ignore the public – its own customers – and oppose rooftop solar. The utility wants to roll back net metering, a critical policy for Colorado’s environment and economic growth. In 43 states, net metering gives rooftop solar customers full retail credit for the excess energy they deliver back to the grid. Utilities like Xcel 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. Xcel wants to eliminate net metering to stifle rooftop solar and protect its monopoly.

This week, The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) launched a new website highlighting Coloradans’ opposition to Xcel Energy’s efforts to undermine successful solar policy. The site, features three Coloradans’ personal stories about why they support rooftop solar. Each of the speakers come from a different background but they share the conviction that rooftop solar is the key to Colorado’s energy future. These voices also share frustration over Xcel’s determination to hold onto its monopoly at any cost.

“We should all be able to make the choices that we want to make,” says Jamie, a mom of two from Denver. “The utilities should not be controlling those choices.”

Gary, a rancher and rodeo star agrees that “Xcel knows there went some profit for them, and that’s all they care about.”

“It’s like they have the gimmes… gimme, gimme, gimme,” says Richard, a Veteran and lifelong Broncos fan.

These personal stories echo across the entire state. Coloradans know that rolling back net metering now would have a chilling effect on Colorado’s solar industry, the jobs it creates, and the consumer energy choice it provides.

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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.

  • Wayne Williamson

    This is another reason the utilities need to break out transmission costs. On the bill I get from Tampa Electric, there is a fuel charge, and there is a service charge. My guess is the service charge is both for the transmission lines and for the power stations. So, unfortunately, there should be three charges, and if you produce your own power back into the grid, you would get one of them.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Net metering is an unworkable model.

    It works nicely for both utilities and solar owners when there are only small amounts of end-user solar on the grid. If utilities can take power from end-users, sell it for a higher price and repay with cheaper power both parties win,

    But once there is enough end-user solar the price of sunny hour electricity drops and the price differential is no longer there.

    Germany, with only a modest amount of solar, has seen the wholesale price of sunny hour electricity drop below late night off-peak prices. Net metering in Germany would mean utilities would have to accept low value electricity during the middle of the day and pay it back with much more expensive pre-/post-solar hour electricity.

  • Rick Kargaard

    I’m confused. It sounds as if the utility is forced to pay retail for the power sold into the grid. No company can survive by buying at retail and reselling without a margin.

  • Larry

    XCEL needs to change it’s business model or die. Let them become a cable internet and TV provider with electricity as a sideline.

  • StefanoR99

    We need cheap energy storage ASAP so we can cut the cord for good.

  • Will E

    Xcel gets its money from its costumers, the inhabitants of Colorado.
    Xcel has no money of itself. Xcel gets its money from you.
    so get rid of the contract and put solar for the benefit of yourself.
    clean and easy

    Xcel will disappear and they know it.

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