30,000 Coloradans Petition Xcel Energy to Withdraw Anti-Solar Proposal
The Alliance for Solar Choice Joins Hundreds in Standing up for Solar at Xcel
DENVER, Dec. 11, 2013
DENVER, Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Today nearly 300 concerned Coloradans
converged in Denver to oppose a proposal from Xcel Energy to roll back one of
the state's most successful solar programs. The energetic crowd braved wintery
temperatures to deliver nearly 30,000 petition signatures urging Xcel to
withdraw its proposal and keep Colorado solar shining.
Xcel Energy's contested proposal seeks to undermine net metering, a program
that encourages consumer investment in solar power. Net metering gives solar
customers full retail credit on their energy bills for the excess power they
contribute to the grid for the utility to resell nearby. Xcel issued the
proposal as part of its 2014 Renewable Energy Standard compliance plan.
A coalition of Xcel consumers, advocacy organizations and businesses that
support Colorado solar rights organized the petition drive and rally.
Representatives from the coalition delivered the 30,000 messages of solar
support directly to Xcel Energy executives. Full text of the petition can be
found here: http://action.votesolar.org/page/s/XcelPetition
"Coloradans are not going to let Xcel get away with a dramatic rollback of the
state's most important solar policy. If approved, Xcel would be able to
drastically cut the credit solar customers receive for electricity they put on
the grid. This proposal is anti-progress, anti-consumer, and simply unfair.
Colorado's solar customers deserve full credit for the valuable power they
produce, which is building a safer, cleaner, more resilient grid for all of
us," said Annie Lappe, solar policy director at The Vote Solar Initiative
"Xcel's anti-solar proposal is out of step with its own customers. Recent
polling shows that four in five Coloradans support our current solar crediting
arrangement and oppose Xcel's efforts to weaken it. It's time for Xcel, the
Governor, and the PUC to represent the best interests of Coloradans by
standing up for our solar rights," said Meghan Nutting, a spokeswoman for The
Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), and Colorado-based director of policy and
electricity markets for SolarCity Corp.
"At a time when solar is more affordable than ever, Xcel should work to expand
private investment in solar generation and the many environmental and public
health benefits it delivers to Coloradans. Instead, the utility's proposal
would actively discourage its customers from investing in solar to prop up
Xcel's outdated business model. It makes no sense," saidBryce Carter,
organizer with the Sierra ClubColoradoBeyond Coal Campaign.
"Coloradans feel strongly that we need to increase energy self-reliance, clean
our air and fight climate disruption by developing our homegrown renewable
energy resources. We should make it more affordable for Coloradans to harness
sunshine to generate their own clean energy, not put solar out of their reach
by rolling back our successful net metering program," said Margaret McCall,
energy associate at Environment Colorado.
"Coloradans who choose to produce their own energy through rooftop solar
should receive the same rate as the utility for that electricity. Xcel's
proposal to credit customers far less than the current retail rate is unfair.
Net metering is critical for allowing customers to participate in an energy
marketplace that's otherwise dominated by utilities," said Rebecca Cantwell,
senior program director of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association
Rooftop solar helpsColoradofamilies, schools and businesses take charge of
their power supply and their electricity bills like never before. This private
investment in local clean energy delivers economic, environmental and public
health benefits to Xcel's solar and non-solar customers alike.
oGrid benefits:Local solar energy systems reduce the need for expensive
centralized power plants and transmission infrastructure, which
benefitsColorado's non-solar customers. These grid benefits total up to
$13.6 million annually for Xcel's ratepayers.
oJob & economic benefits: More than 300 solar companies currently employ
3,600 Coloradans throughout the state. In 2012,private investment to
install solar on Colorado homes and businesses totaled $187 million.
oNew energy leadership:According to U.S. Solar Market Insight: 3rd Quarter
2013, Coloradoranks 7th in the country for solar capacity with 314
megawatts (MW) installed, enough to power 56,500 homes.
Groups opposing the Xcel net metering proposal include:
Advanced Energy Economy, Clean Energy Action, Clean Power Finance, COSEIA,
Dynamic Integration, EnergyShouldBe.org, Environment Colorado, Five Star
Consultants, Go Green Electric, Namaste Solar, Real Goods Solar, SEIA, Sierra
Club, Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter, SolarCity, Sunrun, TASC, Verengo
Solar and Vote Solar.
About net metering:
Like rollover minutes on a cell phone bill, net metering gives solar customers
full credit on their utility bills for the excess clean power they contribute
to the grid. In place in 43 states, this simple crediting arrangement is one
of the most important state policies for enabling Americans to generate their
own power from solar and other renewable energy resources. Learn more
Anne Smart, The Alliance for Solar Choice, email@example.com,
SOURCE The Alliance for Solar Choice
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