This week, the Solar Energy Industries Association joined other renewable energy advocates, businesses, and environmental groups to urge the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to reject a new proposal from Xcel Energy that would discourage net-metered solar energy growth in its territory. Issued last week as part of Xcel’s 2014 Renewable Energy Standard (RES) compliance plan, the proposal takes aim at net metering using a contested, in-house Xcel study that has not undergone public or commission review to make its case against the successful solar policy.
The Xcel study and this subsequent proposal do not fairly value the many benefits that net-metered solar delivers to Colorado. When determining the value of net-metered solar, both costs and benefits must be considered. Solar is helping Colorado families, schools, and businesses take charge of their power supply and their electricity bills like never before. Distributed, local rooftop solar also delivers innumerable benefits to the electrical grid, which Xcel unfairly discounts in its study. Private investments in local clean energy deliver economic, environmental and public health benefits to Xcel’s solar and non-solar customers alike:
In order to ensure a mutually-agreeable resolution for both Xcel and the Colorado solar industry, the study and RES compliance plan must be adjusted in order to adequately account for all of these benefits. Until then, SEIA encourages the Colorado Public Utility Commission to take a stand for the state’s growing solar industry by rejecting Xcel’s near-sighted proposal.
Lead image: Time to act via Shutterstock
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