I would like to make a comment regarding the opinion article “Net metering: Don’t tax all electric customers to support rich solar panel owners” by guest writer Julio Fuentes.
I do not feel that Mr. Fuentes is making a fair assessment of the situation. What does he mean “rich solar owners” and “those who can’t afford solar panels”?
The ideas that poor people cannot afford solar but rich people can are both misrepresentations of the reality of the situation. EVERYBODY can afford solar panels.
I am NOT rich. I am retired. I get a Social Security check in the amount of $749 a month. Yet I own an off-grid solar system and produce 100% of my own electricity. Why do I do that? Because it is CHEAPER than buying electricity from a utility company and it keeps my monthly budget in check. I made a one-time investment and now I get free electricity for life. That is how people save money — you make a capital investment and now you are the business owner. I own my electricity company and I reap the rewards.
If I can afford to buy solar panels and start saving money, anybody can afford to buy solar panels and start saving money. This is especially true of the small businesses that Mr. Fuentes speaks about. Small businesses have profit income, bank balances, cashflow, and banking relationships. They can get business loans to cover a larger investment. They can buy a solar system if they choose to.
Both small businesses and homeowners can call a solar company and get a solar system installed for no money down and start saving money on their monthly electric bill immediately. So where is the problem?
Mr. Fuentes does point out that a burden may fall on apartment dwellers. And this is a good point because the apartment owner may not have an immediate incentive to change over to solar. But I can assure you that this will be a short-lived situation because there is a long-term incentive to invest in solar. Free-market economics will eventually force all apartment owners to go to the most cost-effective electricity. They have to compete against other apartment owners. If one apartment offers lower electrical rates to their renters all other apartments will have to follow suit. They will all have solar soon because they have to compete for renters and renters will choose the cheapest place to live — the one with solar panels providing free electricity.
Source: Matthew Loutner, palmbeachpost.com [Truncated for brevity]
Image source: canva.com