Measure introduced to slash the pay for solar panel users

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Wednesday morning the Public Service Commission is scheduled to hear a measure that would reduce the amount of money power companies will pay solar panel users.

By law power companies are required to pay solar users "dollar for dollar" for excess energy generated by the solar panels.

Commissioner Clyde Holloway will introduce a measure that would slash the reimbursement amount by 75 percent. Industry leaders say this will cripple their industry. "Commissioner Holloway has taken a very anti solar stance," says Tucker Crawford with the Gulf States Renewable Energy Association. "He's using a lot of data that's misinformed or is outdated."

Commissioner Holloway issued the following statement regarding this proposed rule.

Clyde C. Holloway (Forest Hill-Republican) today called on fellow commissioners to join him in taking action to reform the amount of credit home owners producing solar power are afforded. "Under the current rules, homeowners producing solar and selling it to the utility companies are given credit at a retail rate. No other independent power producers are afforded that luxury. Quite unfairly, this arrangement does not provide for a mechanism by which solar users---who rely on utility companies and their electrical grid for back-up electricity when their solar panels are not producing adequate power (due to lack of sun)---are required to pay their fair share of infrastructure and maintenance costs of the electrical grid. Instead, the current system forces neighbors of the solar users to bear that cost. "My proposal before the LPSC is NOT in the best interest of the utilities! It is to halt utilities from paying retail for solar power. Any fuel costs (in this case solar) purchased by utilities are passed through directly onto other ratepayers" stated Holloway.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the Galvez building on North Street.

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