Victory for solar power in NC, net metering rules upheld

Details can be found here:  http://cleantechnica.com/2015/01/10/victory-for-solar-owners-in-north-carolina/

This benefits homeowners who have solar or who want to go solar.  There will be no changes in the net metering cost rate for the next 15 years.

In other words, the rate that homeowners get for a kWh of electricity will remain equal to the rate that the Utility companies charge for a kWh of electricity.

Duke Energy tried unsuccessfully, and unfairly, to reduce this rate, as I described in an earlier post.

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Contact the North Carolina Utilities Commission, to oppose changes to net metering

As mentioned below, net metering is under attack in NC.  I just got an email from Maria Kingery, CEO of Southern Energy Management (the company that installed our solar system), describing how to contact the NC Utilities Commission:

#1.  Write an email to the “Chief Clerk of the Commission.” Include “Docket E-100, Sub 83: Net Metering” as the subject.

  • Identify Yourself
  • In your letter, please let the  commission know who you are and why you decided to invest in solar.  YOUR story is important for them to hear and appreciate.
  • Tell the Utilities Commission: “I DO NOT support changes to net metering that will kill rooftop solar in North Carolina.
  • Ask the Utilities Commission to oppose changes to net metering!

#2.  Send your email to the Utilities Commission: statements@ncuc.net or by U.S. mail to:    North Carolina Utilities Commission, 4325 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699

I feel it is important to fight to keep net metering, to keep solar power strong in America.  I just sent off my email.

Net Metering under attack in NC. Duke Energy seeks to reduce payment for solar power by half

Duke Energy, North Carolina’s largest electric utility, just announced they are seeking to reduce payments for solar power from 11¢ / kWh to 5-7¢ / kWh.  Article here:  http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/01/22/4632118/duke-energy-to-seek-reduction.html

While this may seem like a minor issue, it isn’t.  This would have a devastating impact on the payback period for residential solar.  And it would make going solar uneconomical for residential customers.

For those not familiar with Net Metering:  when a solar system generates excess power, the house electric meter runs backwards and credits build up.  These credits are currently equal to the rate that consumers pay for electricity (about 11¢ / kWh).  So, when the sun is not shining, you get power from the electric company at the same rate.

Seems like a fair trade:  11¢ / kWh for power from the sun; 11¢ / kWh for power from the grid.

Duke Energy is greedy and wants to discount power from the sun as follows:  5-7¢ / kWh for power from the sun; 11¢ / kWh for power from the grid.

Does that seem fair?

Solar power doesn’t pollute.  Solar power is a renewable resource.  And contrary to what power companies say, solar power doesn’t tax or strain their power grid.  Excess solar power flows to your neighbors houses, providing power near its point of generation.