Power companies look at charging customers for solar energy

October 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News


Utilities in a few solar-friendly states are looking for ways to charge their solar customers for energy, a story by the Associated Press said.

That includes creating extra fees for solar customers, or attempting to roll back or end programs that allow solar customers to trade the solar power they generate on sunny days for grid power the rest of the time.

Rooftop solar panels are becoming more common and cheaper worldwide, and not only as a way to be more environmentally conscious.

IKEA, which this week started selling solar panels in a store in the U.K., said customers could recoup their costs in seven years.

Utilities are afraid they will lose so many customers to solar power that they won’t be able to afford to build and maintain the grid, the AP said.

Power companies reviewing their options include Southern Co.’s



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subsidiary Georgia Power, which is looking at a fee for renewable energy users. Georgia Power has asked state regulators to add a new fee beginning next year.

Arizona Public Service Co., a unit of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. PNW



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, is looking at a fee or at curbing an energy swap program. California utilities were going in the same direction, but state legislators voted to allow the state’s solar rate plan to continue and even expand.

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