SAN DIEGO, July 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Most states have net metering policies that compensate solar customers for excess solar electricity they send to the grid. This has been a strong incentive for homeowners to go solar, but it also cuts into the utility giants’ profit margins. Fearing a “utility death spiral,” they’re out to dismantle net metering by any means.
The electric utility industry is the third-largest lobbying force in the U.S., after pharmaceuticals and insurance companies. From 1998 to 2018, the industry spent nearly $2.4 billion aggressively lobbying lawmakers and energy regulators. The utilities also make large campaign contributions to candidates who support their financial interests, which include rolling back net metering and raising the flat monthly rate to guarantee a certain profit percentage. One utility alone, Arizona Public Service, engaged in $130 million of lobbying and political spending from 2013 to 2018. The company recently acknowledged that in 2014 it funneled $12.9 million to political groups that helped elect two of the state’s utilities commissioners. Not surprisingly, the Arizona commission voted to end net metering in 2016.
Since 2013, net metering has also been phased out in Hawaii and more recently in Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and New Hampshire. Solar permits in Hawaii were down sharply within two years of its phase-out, and the same pattern could play out in the other states.
How can residential solar customers fight back? By pairing solar panels with battery storage, so that solar energy generated during the daytime can be used at night rather than fed back to the grid. This significantly reduces a homeowner’s reliance on the utilities.
NeoVolta’s NV14 home energy storage system gives consumers the freedom to go off the grid. The battery features safe, long-lasting lithium iron phosphate chemistry, and it comes with a ten-year warranty. And if the grid goes down, the NV14’s auto-transfer switch automatically disconnect the system so that the panels will continue to power the home’s critical loads and charge the battery when the sun is shining.
“The big utilities are desperate to protect profits for their shareholders, and in state after state we’ve seen them go to the same playbook to undermine solar,” said Brent Willson, CEO of NeoVolta. “But with solar plus storage, individual homeowners can take back control.”