Hey Utilities… Light it or fight it?

May 12, 2016

If you wonder why solar in Louisiana is losing the net metering battle to utilities, the reason is lobbying.  You can have all your feel-good activist show up in matching t-shirts, or Facebook campaign for an email blitz to the PSC, but unfortunately your efforts are futile.  Lobbying (money) wins every time.

In a recent study by the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC), 25 of the top investor owned utilities in the US spent $400,000,000 on lobbying AGAINST solar!  If they would have spent the same amount of money ON solar they could have installed over 133 MEGAWATTS of solar.  (26.4 GIGAWATTS if spent on solar loan guarantees)

So, monopolies continue to be monopolies, making decisions with their investors money in an effort of self-protection.  How protected are they?  Only the future (and people smarter than the monopolies) know for sure.  The utilities did not fight or question net-metering when I wrote the law for Louisiana in 2003 requiring it to be allowed.  They didn’t sense any threat.  Now they do and I think that’s funny.

Jeff Shaw

lobbying-or-solar-from-us-utilities-ilsr

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