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Is There a War between Electricity Utilities and Rooftop Solar Installations?

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David  Walter's picture
President Level 3 Solar

I am the author of a # 1 best-selling book, entrepreneur contributor, and owner of a solar company, Level 3 Solar, that helps homeowners eliminate their electric bills. Our local certified solar...

  • Member since 2023
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  • Jan 24, 2023

As more and more homeowners turn to solar energy, a war is brewing between electricity utilities and rooftop solar installations. The problem is that most utilities' existing business model does not make a profit from distributed resources, including rooftop solar installations. As a result, many utilities are asking the basic economic question, "What's in it for me?" 

In states like Florida, local energy utilities have tried to pass legislation that would severely restrict rooftop solar, while claiming to be pro-solar. However, these efforts have often been met with backlash from the public and the solar industry. In 2016, the policy director of a utility-supported think tank was recorded explaining the deception at an energy conference, leading to the defeat of an amendment that would have restricted rooftop solar in the state. 

In recent years, utilities in states like California have succeeded in passing legislation that has nearly killed net metering, a policy that compensates solar homeowners for the excess energy they send back to the grid. This is just the latest casualty in the war between utilities and rooftop solar. 

Many utilities like the electric company in San Antonio are also starting to turn against homeowners that switch to solar energy by eliminating their rebates. This not only harms individual homeowners but also the growth of the solar industry and the transition towards sustainable energy. 

However, it is important to note that the war between utilities and rooftop solar is not just limited to the United States. In countries like Australia, utilities have also been pushing back against the growth of rooftop solar by trying to reduce the amount paid to homeowners for excess energy sent back to the grid. This not only harms individual homeowners but also the growth of the solar industry and the transition towards sustainable energy. 

The only way this war can end is if utilities, solar companies, and homeowners can figure out Win-Win-Win strategies that answer the question for all parties, "What's in it for me?" This can be achieved through collaboration and finding solutions that benefit all parties, such as implementing fair compensation systems for excess energy sent back to the grid and finding ways for utilities to profit from distributed resources like rooftop solar. It is time for utilities to embrace the future of energy production and work towards a sustainable future for all. 


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David  Walter's picture
Thank David for the Post!
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