Making it pay to go solar
Regarding Anya Schoolman and Jefferson Morley’s Oct. 31 Local Opinions commentary, “D.C. solar’s newest power couple”:
When power begins flowing from new solar panels on the White House, the District’s utility regulators will welcome the Obama family as new customer-generators. More than 200 homes and businesses in the District now generate at least some of their electricity via solar energy, an increase from practically none a few years ago.
On June 18, the D.C. Public Service Commission adopted cutting-edge “net energy metering” rules to facilitate expansion of solar and other renewable energy sources. The commission’s net energy metering rules effectively allow a customer-generator’s meter to account for their solar-produced electricity, lowering their Pepco bills.
Contrary to what Ms. Schoolman and Mr. Morley wrote in their piece, excess electricity produced by customer-generators with an interconnection agreement is not “a gift to Pepco.” Rather, the commission’s net energy metering rules provide that small interconnected customer-generators are to receive credit for the dollar value of this electricity in their Pepco bills. If customers produce more electricity in a month than they consume, the credit carries over to the next month’s bill, so it is never lost.
The installation of “smart meters” that is now underway for all Pepco customers in the District will further enhance the value of “going solar.” Smart meters will enable interconnected customer-generators to be compensated for the full value of producing electricty during peak-demand periods when it is most needed. We’re committed to making sure Pepco deploys these metering technologies correctly so that customers receive the full benefits.
The commission appreciates the valuable efforts of the Mount Pleasant Solar Cooperative and other neighborhood renewable energy groups to make this effort successful.
The writer is chairman of the D.C. Public Service Commission.
Betty Ann Kane, Washington
| November 7, 2010; 9:45 AM ET
Categories: D.C., HotTopic, economy, energy
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