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Looking to slash their electric bill, retired couple Ron and Sarah Hall installed solar panels on their Southern California home. Nearly a year later, they haven't saved a dime.
The panels are considered too powerful, NBC Los Angeles reports, and were never turned on.
The problem isn't necessarily the fact that the panels would generate wasted electricity, NBC Los Angeles explains. Instead, the state is concerned that homeowners could sell their excess energy. A SoCal Edison representative said that a homeowner who produces excess solar energy is considered a potential energy retailer, and becomes subject to commercial business regulations.
Utility Rate Structures. Unfavorable utility rate structures have perennially been a barrier to increased deployment of renewable energy technologies. Unless carefully monitored to encourage the development of distributed generation, rate structures can increase the cost of renewables (e.g., through stand-by rates, lack of net metering) or completely disallow connection to the electrical grid.
"Currently, Florida is one of only five states in the nation that prohibit citizens from buying electricity from companies that will put solar panels on your home or business," according to the group’s website.
HB 2201, which has passed but is awaiting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's signature, takes away the incentive of investing in solar energy systems in the coal-producing state by allowing utility companies to charge solar customers an extra fee.
A new interpretation of state law in Arizona could force customers to pay property taxes on leased solar panels. In a state with an estimated 20,000 solar customers and 85 percent of new solar installations being leased systems, the implications of an extra charge are tremendous. The new tax could result in an additional $152 per year for a residential solar array and even more for larger installations, the Arizona Republic reported. What’s more, the tax would apply to both new and existing customers.
If demand for residential solar continued to soar, traditional utilities could soon face serious problems, from “declining retail sales” and a “loss of customers” to “potential obsolescence,” according to a presentation prepared for the group. “Industry must prepare an action plan to address the challenges,” it said.
The warning, delivered to a private meeting of the utility industry’s main trade association, became a call to arms for electricity providers in nearly every corner of the nation. Three years later, the industry and its fossil-fuel supporters are waging a determined campaign to stop a home-solar insurgency that is rattling the boardrooms of the country’s government-regulated electric monopolies.
An alliance of corporations and conservative activists is mobilising to penalise homeowners who install their own solar panels – casting them as "freeriders" – in a sweeping new offensive against renewable energy, the Guardian has learned.
Over the coming year, the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) will promote legislation with goals ranging from penalising individual homeowners and weakening state clean energy regulations, to blocking the Environmental Protection Agency, which is Barack Obama's main channel for climate action.
Gabe Elsner, director of the Energy and Policy Institute, said the attack on small-scale solar was part of the larger Alec project to block clean energy. "They are trying to eliminate pro-solar policies in the states to protect utility industry profits," he said.
The group sponsored at least 77 energy bills in 34 states last year. The measures were aimed at opposing renewable energy standards, pushing through the Keystone XL pipeline project, and barring oversight on fracking, according to an analysis by the Centre for Media and Democracy.
originally posted by: StallionDuck
a reply to: BASSPLYR
Many states REQUIRE you to be connected to the utilities whether you use them or not. Water, Electricity, Sewage, a Mailbox... all things that are required in most states. Delegated by some municipal, of course.
If you're in a place that can't logically get any of these, the state doesn't mandate it. Odd how it's ok for some and not for others. I get it though, they just cant get those services in some areas far away from towns and cities, but still...
It's a sad thing.