SOLAR POWER "NET METERING" BENEFITS ALL CONSUMERS, EVEN THOSE WHO DON'T USE SOLAR
The rapid growth of solar energy in the United States is the result of forward-looking policies that are helping the nation reduce its contribution to global warming and expand its use of local renewable energy sources.
One policy in particular, “net metering,” has been instrumental in the growth of solar energy, particularly on homes and small businesses. Net energy metering enables solar panel owners to earn fair compensation for the benefits they provide to other users of the electricity grid, and makes “going solar” an affordable option for more people.
Net metering works by providing customers a credit on their electric bill for surplus energy sent back the grid for others to use. Net metering has been likened to rollover minutes for cell phones, but it’s even better, because it runs your energy meter (and bill) backwards.
As solar energy has taken off in recent years, however, utilities and other special interests have increasingly attacked net metering as an unjustified “subsidy” to solar users.
Rooftop solar power's benefits to the environment and electric grid largely exceed the costs of net metering programs, according to a recent report from the Environment America Research & Policy Center.
The center reviewed 16 "value of solar" studies from across the country, concluding that "solar panels on homes, schools and businesses often provide more benefits than they receive through programs like net metering, counter to utility claims that solar owners don't pay their fair share."
"Solar power's rewards are far greater than its costs," Bret Fanshaw, report co-author and Environment America's solar program coordinator, said in a statement. "We should be encouraging even more solar, not penalizing it."
The report identifies at least eight key benefits of rooftop solar power. Benefits to the electric grid including:
Utilities and other net metering critics "have sought to portray the program as an unfair subsidy to solar energy system owners," the researchers explained.
"With the right incentives in place, rooftop and community solar allows individual consumers to save energy and money over time, while also providing benefits to our grid and to society as a whole," he said in a statement. "We should be encouraging even more rooftop and community solar, not slowing its growth."
Thank you to our friends at Progress Illinois for providing the original article below.
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