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

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

RELATED ARTICLES

Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...
Microgrids

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that ha...
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

03/01/2015
Volume 18, Issue 3
file

STAY CONNECTED

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

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

EU PVSEC 2015 (European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition)

The EU PVSEC is the largest international Conference for Photovoltaic re...

More Power, More Profit Tour - San Diego

Register for the SMA More Power, More Profit Tour for free, in-person sa...

More Power, More Profit Tour - Syracuse

Register for the SMA More Power, More Profit Tour for free, in-person sa...

COMPANY BLOGS

EU PVSEC 2014 extends its Scope

Added focus on application and policy topicsAbstracts for conference con...

EU PVSEC 2014: Call for Papers Receives Great Response

More than 1,500 contributions apply for presentation in AmsterdamScienti...

How GreenLancer Streamlines the Solar Design Process

Post originally appeared on the GreenLancer Blog by Ardelia Lee Cr...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS