New Hampshire is crashing into an arbitrary cap on solar, and without swift measures before the next legislative session begins in January, New Hampshire’s competitive solar market and local jobs are in jeopardy. Tell Utilities Solar Won’t be Killed (TUSK) and their Chairman Barry Goldwater Jr. are urging New Hampshire’s leaders to preserve competition by lifting this cap on energy choice and preventing disruption to a growing market.
“As a conservative I support competition and the choice to power my own home,” said Goldwater Jr. “The people of New Hampshiredeserve continued access to competitive energy options and the jobs and economic growth that comes with them.”
According to TUSK, polling repeatedly underscores the support for solar energy on the right. In Arizona, 83 percent of conservative voters would be less likely to vote for a candidate who wants to end solar power. When South Carolina voters were asked if consumers should pay an additional fee to invest in solar panels, 92 percent said “no.” And in Louisiana, 76 percent of conservatives agreed the opportunity for homeowners to go solar is important for providing choice and competition in electricity.
The impending cap in New Hampshire is a limit on a fundamental solar policy called net metering. Net metering allows for widespread solar access and is necessary for maintaining competitive solar markets. New Hampshire has the lowest cap of all neighboring states. Some utilities have hit the cap already and are no longer accepting net metering applications. Eversource, which serves about 75% ofNew Hampshire’s residential customers, is likely to hit the cap in the next few months.
Eversource opposed increasing their customers’ access to solar by lifting the rooftop solar cap last year. Recent updates to their Website indicate they may be open to an extension. By offering an extension now, Eversource can prevent job loss and allow policymakers to open a full discussion on the fate of the Granite State’s competitive solar market during the 2016 legislative session. TUSK calls on Eversource to offer an immediate extension to avoid market disruption.
“Preventing access to rooftop solar by imposing artificial caps is not the conservative way,” added Goldwater Jr. “It’s also poor timing given the attention the state is getting from presidential hopefuls.”
Time is running out to save energy choice and local jobs in New Hampshire. What’s best for consumers and the New Hampshireeconomy is lifting the cap on solar choice.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.