WASHINGTON, March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Harry Alford, President and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, today released the following statement in regard to recent news reports about solar net metering policies in Louisiana.
"There has been a lot of discussion recently about solar energy and the policy of net-metering that pays customers for their excess solar power. Many have tried to turn the conversation into a debate about support for or opposition to solar energy. Net metering as a litmus test for solar support might be good for stirring political debate, but it misses the point.
"When we pay solar owners a higher-than-market rate for their power, we throw basic economics out of balance. The result is that solar owners pay less than their fair share of the cost of the electric grid, meaning non-solar customers pick up the tab. That is Louisiana's system today, and it isn't fair. Because of overly generous net metering payments, those with the means to install costly solar panels are shifting costs to other customers, including low-income families and those on ﬁxed incomes. The cost is $2 million and growing.
"A recent analysis by Mr. Ashley Brown, a former public utility commissioner in Ohio and currently the executive director of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group, says that net-metering policies have a "socially regressive societal impact." That point is reinforced by a recent study commissioned by Louisiana's utility regulators that says solar net-metered customers in the state have incomes 35% higher than the median statewide income. Solar energy has great promise. But Louisiana's energy policy must be updated now to create a fair and sustainable model that ensures all customers pay their share."
For more information, contact: Harry Alford, President & CEO (202) 466-6886
SOURCE National Black Chamber of Commerce