If you currently sell solar solutions, you have watched time after time that some politicians backed by the Energy monopolies have been trying to show time and time again that solar users cause the energy costs to go up for non solar users in a reverse robin hood scenario. You know the one. “Steal from the poor (non solar users) and give to the rich (solar users)”. But here is the thing. Study after study has shown that having solar on the grid is a benefit to everyone! Thanks to Renewable Energy World for their in-depth coverage of this very argument and putting it to rest.
In a nutshell, here’s the argument the utilities want to prove: Solar customers, by consuming their own energy, are avoiding paying for upkeep on the grid, which (in this argument) means those costs shift to non-solar ratepayers.
Frankly, it’s a compelling sell. If I didn’t know better, I’d probably resent solar customers, too. After all, why should solar customers get the grid for “free” while I’m paying for its upkeep?
Now that they’ve got your dander up, the utilities go in for the kill: This freeloading scenario demands that they charge solar customers special charges (monthly fixed charges, solar tariffs, etc.) so equity for all ratepayers can be maintained. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to show their claims are true.
In fact, 16 states have commissioned cost-benefit analyses on whether having solar consumers on the grid negatively affects non-solar customers (the list misses the studies in South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana). Only one study has given even the hint that ratepayers are harmed (Louisiana), and that study was done by a firm so closely tied to the fossil-fuels industry as to be easily discounted.
And yet some states refuse to believe the evidence of their own studies. In recent years, Nevada commissioned two studies that showed solar is a benefit to all consumers. Earlier this year, they commissioned a third study in the hopes that it would show something different.
We’ve seen the same pattern in other states where the fossil-fuel interests are so entrenched that they can fight tooth-and-nail to keep their monopoly power on electrical distribution. [read the rest at Renewable Energy World]