During the past decade the feed-in tariff in Germany (and other countries) spurred incredible growth in the solar industry. Many people bemoan the fact that there is no FIT in the U.S. Ironically, the FIT in Germany is now below regular retail electric rates. As Winston Churchill said, "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they've tried everything else." That "right thing" when it comes to solar incentives is net metering.
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But net metering is under a concerted attack by utilities all over the U.S. Ground Zero for this offensive is now in California, where the legislature is debating various amendments to AB 327. In the views of many people, net metering is a reasonable proxy for the value of distributed generation solar power. But from the perspective of investor-owned utilities, net metering is a mortal threat to their business model of profitably selling centrally generated power.
In this week's Energy Show, Rosalind Jackson of Vote Solar talks about your rights as a homeowner to install a rooftop solar power system. We'll discuss some of the ridiculous permitting and interconnection delays that make solar power more expensive. But most importantly, we'll talk about the significance of net metering as the most efficient and equitable way to incentivize people to go solar. If you want to maintain your energy independence, don't miss this week's Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.
About The Energy Show
As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don't have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.
The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we'll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.
About Your Host
Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.
His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.
Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies. He's been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.
Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock