Homeowners are quickly discovering the benefits of solar leasing and getting home solar installed with little or no money down. They provide the rooftop space, while third party solar leasing companies finance, install, and maintain the PV panels, and charge for the electricity they produce. Homeowners’ bills usually go down, and more importantly, remain down, unlike prices for electricity from fossil fuels, which tend to rise.
If the panels produce more electricity than the household is using, it can be bought by the utility company at fair market rates, which is called Net Energy Metering (NEM), and sold back into the electricity grid, helping utilities save on electricity generation and transmission costs.
It’s an arrangement that works well for everyone except utilities, which haven’t changed their centralized fossil fuel burning business models for a century, and who definitely don’t want the competition. This conflict of interest must be resolved, because distributed, clean, and less expensive renewable energy is a fantastic development for everybody else.
This is why America’s leading rooftop solar companies are joining together to launch The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC). Their task? To combat utility monopolies to protect solar choice and NEM.
NEM is in place in 43 states and provides fair credit for the solar energy the panels put back on the grid, like rollover minutes on a cell phone bill. Because utilities enjoy their century old monopoly on power generation and distribution, they don’t want to lose customers to home solar, let alone compete with them.
Utilities argue that rooftop solar raises prices for other ratepayers because rooftop solar users buy less electricity, and therefore pay less into the system. But studies in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, and Vermont have all demonstrated that home solar provides a net benefit to ratepayers and to state economies. A Crossborder Energy study shows net metering delivers a financial benefit of more than $92 million annually to all California ratepayers, not just those with solar.
“Americans are choosing solar in record numbers to save money on electric bills,” said TASC member and Sunrun co-Founder Edward Fenster. “While this benefits the American consumer and the economy, monopoly utilities want to stop this progress to protect their own interests.”
And as TASC member and SolarCity CEO, Lyndon Rive points out, “If Americans are denied the right to choose how they produce and consume electricity, monopoly utilities will continue to choose their profits over the interests of consumers.”
To learn more about TASC or to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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