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Watch Out for Solar Credit Policy Changes that Favor Energy Companies (Part 2)

Solar panel being fueled by sun on roof; hand holding coins; solar credit policy

Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article about company energy policies when it comes to on-grid net-metering. Last time we talked about the real costs associated with connecting your solar panels to the grid; and how energy companies control what you earn back per watt-hour. And how it’s not always actually equally balanced with what you pay them for power. We also discussed how solar credit policy is changing in Nevada, — not for the benefit of private solar panel owners. Let’s pick up where we left off at Florida’s recent policy decisions on solar crediting.

Florida Dodges the Bullet

Around the same time, Florida was facing a utility-funded amendment that would give their energy companies similar freedom to penalize solar panel owners, paired with the juicy offer of allowing solar panel leasing in the state which had previously been prohibited. Fortunately, voters dodged that bullet and chose to support another amendment providing a tax credit for solar panel owners instead. This is good news; it’s also evidence that the utility companies are on the defensive. They aren’t going to stop looking for ways to get their monopoly back from independent solar panel users.

These two incidents together begin to form a pattern; it shows that solar supporters need to be on the lookout. Specifically, for more sneaky bills, amendments, and solar credit policy changes. These changes might significantly change the financial landscape to favor the energy companies; rather than incentivize or even fairly compensate renewable energy generation.

Solar Credit Policy and the Micro-Grid Alternative

Among the problems between energy companies and solar power, there is actually an interesting alternative for businesses and communities. Rather than relying on or even working with the public power grid, your business or community can build your own micro-grid and simply share your solar power through this method.

The micro-grid can still connect to the main grid for emergencies. But why not pool your renewable resources in a way that keeps all that solar wear and tear off the power company’s precious wires and still allows you to benefit from it. Combined with a few big batteries for rainy days, your power solution becomes more robust, versatile, sustainable, and affordable; rather than simply relying on the grid and sharing your solar bounty with the power company.

Lessons Learned

If you do live on the main grid with a few solar panels, it’s worth your while to keep an eye on local solar credit policy. The utility companies in most states have been cool so far. But at any moment, they might decide the costs are too high; they’d pay for an amendment or solar credit policy change which will turn the tables in their favor. It’s up to the solar community to prevent these changes; to keep the country moving forward to renewable energy solutions rather than backward into the fossil fuel monopoly.

Talk to your friends about local solar credit policy. If you live among many other solar owners, talk to your neighbors about building a micro-grid for the neighborhood. You can all share solar energy without inconveniencing your local power company. Make sure you are familiar with the laws, regulations, and taxes (or tax breaks) in your state before making a decision on where, when, and how to invest in solar panels. In many cases, a micro-grid will provide you with a more robust sustainable energy solution, especially when combined with a bank of batteries big enough to ride your business through a public-grid power outage.

There are many forms of energy efficiency, from turning off lights to installing solar panels and every business is deciding for themselves based on budget and opportunity how far to go. For more information about the right energy efficiency solutions for your business, contact us today!

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