Net Metering Proponent Says Bill Promotes Solar Power

solar panelsBARNSTABLE – Solar power proponents are happy about a bill working its way through the Massachusetts State House that would increase the capacity of the commonwealth’s electric grid to use solar power.

Evan Dube, Public Policy Director for Sunrun Inc., a company out of Marion that installs solar panels on homes, said his company was involved in discussions leading up to the filing of the bill.

“What the bill does, writ large, is it provides a long term framework for solar policy in Massachusetts, one that’s going to enable continued solar growth as we move forward. Within this framework, net metering is addressed. That will continue under this legislation,” he said.

While some homeowners using solar panels are concerned the bill will cost them money, Dube said the bill will actually help more people take advantage of solar power.

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“For traditional systems where the power is metered on site, the credit for net metering remains exactly the same as it does today,” he said.

He said the bill’s language that sets a minimum charge for power customers is not an additional charge for customers.

“What it is, is a floor, in essence, and what it says is that consumers will utilize a certain portion of their bill to go towards the electric distribution grid,” he said.

Dube said the issue of net metering has been contentious in other states but in Massachusetts, the solar proponents and the utilities have come together in support of the bill.

NET METERING BILL-03              PRONOUNCER: DOO-BEE

7/11/14   LMR

A BILL WORKING ITS WAY THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE HAS SOLAR POWER PROPONENTS ON ITS SIDE. BUT SOME PEOPLE WHO HAVE SOLAR PANELS TO POWER THEIR HOMES ARE CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT LOOKS LIKE AN EXTRA CHARGE THAT IS PART OF THE BILL. EVAN DUBE IS PUBLIC POLICY DIRECTOR OF SUN RUN INC, A COMPANY OUT OF MARION THAT INSTALLS SOLAR PANELS ON HOMES.

DUBE03    “. . . ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION GRID.”  :15

DUBE SAYS THE BILL HAS BEEN THE RESULT OF A STRONG COLLABORATION BETWEEN SOLAR SUPPORTERS AND LOCAL UTILITES.