A telephone poll, carried out between August 21-24, found that 76% of Coloradans support net metering. 73% were opposed to the state’s largest utility, XCEL Energy, cutting the amount of credit it provides for customers who feed electricity into the grid. Yet according to Gabriel Romero, a media relations specialist from XCEL Energy, “The only thing regarding rooftop solar that’s on the table right now is a discussion about how to classify net metering.”
Keating Research and Public Opinion Strategies contacted 500 registered voters from all across Colorado. According to information in the form, respondents were from all political persuasions and income levels.
“This poll demonstrates increased public understanding of and support for solar net metering and a willingness to defend the tremendous benefits it has already delivered to Colorado,” said Walker Wright, spokesperson for The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) and Director of Government Affairs at Sunrun. “Coloradans want the choice for self-generated solar power, which contributes to the grid’s improvement while creating jobs in a growing industry.”
TASC commissioned the poll, which you can see an overview of here.
Romero said he had not seen it, but from my questions he suspected it is a partisan poll.
“There isn’t a concerted effort to stop solar. We’re not changing our rebate amount. We have not proposed cutting anything,” he added. “The issue before the Public Utilities Commission is how to classify net metering. Is it a subsidy? is it not a subsidy? It is a discussion about what net metering is and how to classify it.”
TASC is concerned about what could transpire as a result of that discussion. XCEL has tried to reduce the amount paid to solar owners before. This “discussion” could open the door for the utility to try again.
Romero said XCEL and the the solar industry have both expressed their opinions, and it is up to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to decide what is fair.