Parker County Today January 2018 - Page 37

Net Benefits of Net Metering BY RICHARD A. FLOREY Marketing Director EcoVantage Energy, inc. www./ecovantageenergy.com distributed here and there, adding electric energy back into the grid like an unexpected energy resource to us all. Who names these things? We realize not everyone is in a position to own rooftop solar, but for those who can and have; your decision has benefits far beyond the savings and security that brought you to it in the first place. For that, we thank you. America thanks you. Proof from Smart People According to the Brookings Institute, who took a serious look at net metering as Nevada and some other states were coming to grips with this new norm, found that despite claims by several public utilities, that the accumulated benefits of rooftop and other solar sources adding back to the grid indeed had multiple gains to both the utility and the customers who did not have solar. Coming to the conclusion that PUCs who were complaining had not The Collateral Benefit Imagine doing something for yourself and your family that had the collateral effect of helping your neighbors and the nation. That’s an attribute very few things can do, but they do exist. For instance, your carpool fellows would love for you to buy a more comfortable, more fuel efficient vehicle for your part of the pool. So one day, you buy an awesome hybrid SUV with lots of comfy extras your friends love and yet your new fuel efficiency is a benefit to the community around you, and, even if it’s a slight benefit, of lowering fuel costs for the next guy and in the thousandth percentile, the nation. It’s a stretch, but for this example it’ll do. Let’s now put that same thought thread into a different scenario, the one where you install rooftop solar and set up net metering through your public utility. You’ve just done something hugely beneficial to yourself yet at the same time, you’ve provided what is called, a “distributed energy resource”. If you think about it, that does make sense; with solar panels thoroughly considered all the cost aspects and simply needed to adjust their fees accordingly. “One of the most exciting infrastructure developments within metropolitan America, the installation of over a million solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in recent years, represents nothing less than a breakthrough for urban sustainability — and the climate. …Regulators everywhere need to put in place processes that fairly consider the full range of benefits (as well as costs) of net metering as well as other policies as they set and update the policies, regulations, and tariffs that will play a critical role in determining the extent to which the distributed solar industry continues to grow….that the economic benefits of net metering actually outweigh the costs and impose no significant cost increase for non-solar customers.  Far from a net cost, net metering is in most cases a net benefit—for the utility and for non-solar rate-payers.” From; Rooftop solar: Net metering is a net benefit by Mark Muro and Devashree Saha, May 2016 35