Eikonal Blog

2014.04.21

We don’t need stinking renewable energy ….

There is new trend seen in couple of mid-western states to make new laws that discourage individual house owners to use renewable energy (solar and wind).

  • “Op-Ed: ALEC and the Koch brothers fight solar energy with surcharges” by Justin King (2014.04.21) – http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/politics/op-ed-alec-and-the-koch-brothers-fight-solar-energy-with-surcharges/article/381659
  • “Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their Own Solar Panels” by Kiley Kroh (Climate Progress; 2014.04.16) – http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/16/3427392/oklahoma-fee-solar-wind/
    • New law (S.B. 1456), passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. Those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid will be charged a monthly fee. Bill was pushed through quietly, out of nowhere, attached to some other bill. The main beneficiary of the bill, Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co., play here double track: for their own use of wind power they are getting tax credits, while suppressing the customers who use wind power on their own.
    • This is a trend in multiple states, where there is push by the power companies to punish the local customers who are participating in “net metering” (i.e. being compensated for the excess electric power they sell to the utility company). “Net metering laws have come under fire from the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group backed by fossil fuel corporations, utility companies, and the ultra-conservative Koch brothers. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have net metering policies in place and ALEC has set its sights on repealing them, referring to homeowners with their own solar panels as “freeriders on the system.”Net metering survived attacks in Colorado and Kansas and Vermont recently increased its policy in a bipartisan effort. Last year, Arizona added what amounts to a $5 per month surcharge for solar customers, a move that was widely seen as a compromise, particularly after ALEC and other Koch-backed groups got involved.”

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