ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., March 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With solar issues on the forefront of state and national energy policy, Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE) this week released a white paper detailing experiences nationwide with going solar. The publication, entitled "Solar Power in the U.S.: Lessons Learned and Guidance for Policymakers," is intended to educate both consumers and lawmakers about the various consequences of using solar energy.
"CARE has followed solar issues in the United States very closely," explains CARE Executive Director Marita Noon. "Whether the topic is government subsidies, consumer fraud, or net metering, we have advocated for policies that protect consumers and ensure a level playing field for American energy sources."
Among the findings of the white paper:
- Many third-party solar companies have exploited federal subsidies by over-reporting prices and ripped off consumers by over-charging for financed solar power systems.
- The rapid adoption of solar, with little regulation or oversight, has led to fraud, deception, illegal business practices, and even safety issues. For example, as recently as last week, Going Green Solar admitted to consumer fraud after targeting senior citizens with false information and scare tactics.
- The installation of rooftop solar is causing issues related to home owners insurance, real estate sales, and liability concerns.
- Net metering policies that pay solar rooftop owners for power returned to the grid are causing cost shifts to non-solar customers.
"Going solar has become increasingly popular, but consumers and policymakers alike should proceed with caution and recognize the potential consequences of more use of rooftop solar power," says Noon. "Policy should be crafted that avoids passing on significant costs to non-solar customers through overly generous net metering policies. It may be too late to protect some solar customers, but there is a chance to make sure others are treated fairly."
CARE is a 501(c)(3) public charity devoted to educating the public about the need to guarantee access to affordable energy and protect energy consumers from unfair energy policies. The group is not affiliated with a political party.
SOURCE Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE)