In Tucson, Competing Interests Fight For Solar Energy Profits | NBC Nightly News

In Tucson, Competing Interests Fight For Solar Energy Profits | NBC Nightly News


NBC’S LUCY KAFANOV EXPLAINS.>>Reporter: FOR THESE HOMEOWNERS IN TUCSON, ARIZONA, 300 DAYS OF SUNSHINE A YEAR MADE GOING SOLAR A NO-BRAINER. THEY SHELLED OUT $21,000 HOPING TO OFFSET THE TRIPLE DIGIT ELECTRIC BILLS THAT COME WHEN TEMPERATURES ARE OVER 100.>>THAT’S HUGE.>>THAT’S A MASSIVE INCREASE.>>Reporter: IT’S AN INVESTMENT WITH A LONG-TERM PAYOFF.>>IDEALLY, WE WILL PAY ZERO OVER THE YEAR.>>Reporter: THAT’S BECAUSE OF SOMETHING CALLED NET METERING. WHEN THE SUN IS OUT, ROOFTOP SOLAR PANELS MAKE MORE ENERGY THAN MOST HOMEOWNERS CAN USE AND THEY EARN CREDITS FOR EXTRA POWER THEY SEND TO THE UTILITY COMPANY WHICH OFFSETS BUYING POWER FROM THE GRID AT NIGHT. UTILITIES ARE NOT FANS OF NET METERING. EVERY KILOWATT GENERATED ON A HOME ROOF IS ONE LESS THAT THE POWER COMPANY GETS TO SELL AND NOW IN SIX STATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, POWER COMPANIES ARE FIGHTING TO CHANGE THE RULES.>>THE REASON YOU’RE SEEING UTILITY PUSH BACK IS THE PREVIOUS MONOPOLY OF ALL ENERGY SUPPLY IS BEING THREATENED.>>Reporter: A PROPOSED RULE CHANGE IN TUCSON WOULD SEE NEW ROOFTOP CUSTOMERS PAY AN ADDITIONAL $100 A YEAR WHILE EARNING A LOT LESS FOR THE POWER THEY SELL.>>THE COSTS FOR SOLAR POWER ARE PAID FOR BY ALL OF OUR CUSTOMERS AND ROOFTOP CUSTOMERS DON’T PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE UNDER OUR CURRENT RATES.>>Reporter: THEIR MAIN CONCERN, NET METERING DOESN’T MAINTAIN THE GRID THAT CARRIES POWER TO AND FROM THE HOMES. POWER COMPANIES ARE JUMPING ON THE SOLAR BANDWAGON, TOO, BUILDING HUGE SOLAR FIELDS LIKE THIS ONE. HERE, THERE’S NEARLY 100,000 SOLAR PANELS, ENOUGH TO KEEP THE LIGHTS ON FOR 5,000 TUCSON HOMES ALL YEAR. THEY BELIEVE MORE HOMEOWNERS BENEFIT WHEN THEY BUY SOLAR DIRECTLY FROM THEM.>>LARGE-SCALE COMMUNITIES LIKE THE ONES WE’RE STANDING IN NOW ARE MORE PREDICTABLE AND MORE RELIABLE.>>Reporter: BUT TIM WANTS A CHOICE.>>IT’S DISHEARTENING TO THINK OF A SUNNY PLACE LIKE TUCSON HAVING LESS SOLAR. WE SHOULD HAVE THE MOST SOLAR OF ANYWHERE IN THE U.S.>>Reporter: WHILE IT’S UNCERTAIN WHO WILL MAKE THAT CHOICE, IT IS CLEAR THAT AMERICA’S SOLAR LANDSCAPE IS GOING TO CHANGE.

5 thoughts on “In Tucson, Competing Interests Fight For Solar Energy Profits | NBC Nightly News

  1. Generate all your own power; install solar panels and battery backup in your home and forget about the utility companies. I can hardly wait for the Tesla home systems to become available. It would be reasonable to pay a small fee if you wish to remain connected to the utility grid system as another form of backup.

  2. Dude you save money in the no full you have to burn. As usual big business only want some things when they can make a profit out.

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