Solar-energy groups oppose Xcel plan to trim payments

July 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

A coalition of solar-industry and environmental groups Tuesday called upon the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to reject an Xcel Energy proposal they say would curtail rooftop solar installations.

Xcel, the state’s largest electricity provider, has suggested trimming the “net metering” credit that homeowners and small businesses with solar arrays get for putting electricity on the grid.

In a unified statement, 22 trade groups, renewable-energy advocacy groups, environmental groups and solar businesses opposed the idea.

“Xcel Energy is trying to squash one of our most successful solar programs,” said Jeanne Bassett of Environment Colorado.

On July 24 , Xcel filed a required renewable-energy plan with the PUC that said homeowners and businesses with solar arrays receive a 10.5-cent credit for each kilowatt-hour they put on the grid but that they provide only about 5 cents in benefits.

Xcel did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

In an interview last week, Karen Hyde, an Xcel vice president for rates, said, “We are looking for a more transparent discussion of costs and benefits.”

“Xcel is using a flawed study and backroom tactics to attempt to roll back one of the state’s most important solar customer rights,” said Annie LappĂ©, solar-policy director at the Vote Solar Initiative.

Net metering “has been a huge component to helping Colorado families and businesses afford to go solar,” said Edward Stern, executive director of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association.

Mark Jaffe: 303-954-1912, mjaffe@denverpost.com or twitter.com/bymarkjaffe

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