Poll: Majority of Tennessee Voters Support Solar and Oppose Fixed Charges On Bill or Restrictions to Customer Choice

Recent polling conducted by North Star Opinion Research shows widespread support throughout Tennessee for solar energy as well as strong opposition to solar market barriers currently being erected by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) such as fixed (mandatory) monthly charges and limitations to customer choice.

Boo! Should Duke Energy’s Shift from Electricity Rates to Mandatory Fees Scare Us?

Duke Energy Progress is facing a tough time with its spooky request to raise customer rates by 14 percent. North Carolina’s customer advocate has come out strongly against the 14 percent rate hike, and thousands of Duke Energy Progress customers have attended public hearings or signed a petition against allowing Duke Energy to increase electric [...]

Gulf Power Settlement is WIN for Consumers, Energy Efficiency, & Solar

Customers won big this month when Gulf Power, in a settlement of its proposed rate hike, pulled back on a requested huge increase in the fixed charge portion of customers’ bills. A big hike in the fixed charge would have unfairly penalized families that conserve and use less power and those that wish to use rooftop solar power. It would have also hit low and fixed income especially hard.

Local utility quietly clouds solar future

But this past August, our local electric utility company passed perhaps the worst solar power policy in the south. Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) introduced an extremely complicated electric, water and sewer rate increase the same week historic, 1,000-year flooding occurred in Louisiana. The new rate structure for net metered customers, including solar power families like mine, is likely to double monthly electric bills, and double the length of time it takes for a solar panel system to pay for itself. The new policy effectively acts as a giant tax on solar power. Solar tax credits are being phased out, and when coupled with LUS’s new solar tax, it is unlikely that solar power systems would ever pay for themselves.