The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Solar Fee Defeated in Georgia Power Rate Case

Georgia's solar energy businesses and consumers won an important victory yesterday with the state’s largest utility, Georgia Power, dropping a proposed solar customer charge after experiencing overwhelming Commission and staff disapproval.

As part of its ongoing general rate case, Georgia Power had petitioned the Commission earlier to impose new charges on customers who install and use solar energy systems at their homes, businesses and farms. This proposed monthly fee would have amounted to about half of what customers would otherwise save on their electric bills after investing in solar panels just as the declining cost of solar panels is prompting more property owners to consider buying them.  For a homeowner with a typical 5-kW solar system, Georgia Power was proposing a fee of $27.80 per month.  

Consumer groups, solar businesses and other stakeholders came out in force to oppose the discriminatory tax, stating that it would prop up the monopoly utility at the expense of market competition and individual property rights. As we are seeing elsewhere in the country, the utility’s rather arbitrary fee proposal was not justified by any fact-based assessment of the value of customer-generated solar power. 

Thankfully a majority of commissioners and staff saw Georgia Power’s proposal for what it was, an ill-conceived and unpopular attempt to stand between customers and the homegrown solar power they want. The Commission is expected to finalize the stipulation in the rate case by December 17.

So, in the national battle between traditional utilities and customer solar rights, we can put another win in the solar column. This victory in Georgia comes on the heels of a much-watched contest in Arizona, where the utility’s egregious proposal of a $50-$100 fee on solar customers was also soundly defeated last week. Commissions in Idaho and Louisiana upheld their net metering policies against attacks earlier this year as well.

In all cases, the utilities’ anti-solar proposals were met with strong opposition from a public that increasingly wants to generate its own power from the sun. It seems that attempting to regulate against customer choice and market innovation is a losing proposition.

Lead image: Denied stamp via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Welspun Commissions 52-MW Solar Power Plant in India

Vince Font Leading Indian solar developer Welspun Renewables has commissioned the construction of a massive solar plant in the state of Maharashtra. The planned 52-megawatt (MW) solar plant will be located in the city of Baramati. The...

Regional News from the July/August 2015 Digital Edition of Renewable Energy World

Renewable Energy World Editors EcoFasten Solar announced that it launched a new mounting "Rock-It System" that it would be displaying during Intersolar. Product compliance was determined through testing per UL Subject 2703, which reviews integr...

SkyPower Inks $2.2 Billion Deal for Massive Solar Power Plant in Kenya

Eric Ombok, Bloomberg Kenya’s Energy Ministry and SkyPower Global Ltd. will sign a $2.2 billion agreement on Sunday that paves the way for the Canadian company to develop a 1-gigawatt solar project in East Africa’s biggest economy. The solar pro...

Making a Match: How Solar Companies and Banks Hook Up

Jennifer Runyon The announcements are fairly frequent: SunPower Partners with Admirals Bank for $200 Million Solar Loan Program, Deutsche Bank to Lend $1 Billion for Japanese Solar Projects, Financing Partnerships Drive North Carolina's So...
Jason Rooks is a lawyer, President of Clean Energy Strategies, and currently serves as Government Affairs Director for the Georgia Solar Energy Industries Association (GASEIA). He is based in the Atlanta area.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Presenting at Infocast's Utility Scale Solar Summit 2015

Oct. 21, 2015 4:30-5:15pm Albie Fong, National Director, Solar Frontier ...

Utility Scale Solar Summit 2015

Oct. 21, 2015 4:30-5:15pm Albie Fong, National Director, Solar Frontier ...

5th Annual Hydro Plant Maintenance

Join maintenance professionals to discuss the challenges in maintenance ...

COMPANY BLOGS

Behind Every Good Decision

When something about your business isn’t working, you set out to c...

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

An Overwhelming Paradox

I’m sure we’re all very familiar with the feeling of being o...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS