For everyone who made such a big push to get the word out about Net Metering at the Louisiana Public Service Commission – A HUGE THANK YOU!
We are happy to say that we won the battle and Comm. Holloway was unable to muster the votes to overhaul our net metering rules. While the war is not over, things could have gone very differently today and I am confident that the calls to action made a significant difference. According to Comm. Angelle’s legislative aide the phone calls to their office were 250 in support to 2 against. Anyway, following is a brief recap of the meeting. Though we won this battle, the war is not over. Stay tuned for the next phase in this campaign.
LPSC Meeting ReCap
Net Metering at the Louisiana Public Service Commission – Wednesday, April 17th
Seeing that he still lacked three votes, Comm. Clyde Holloway once again postponed a decision on the Net Metering issue until next month. Before doing so, however, he proposed a motion that would increase the charge for installing a net meter, reduce the compensation for solar energy produced to the grid to avoided cost plus once cent, and suggested that the cap on net metering (currently 0.5%) be removed.
Meanwhile, Comm. Boissiere raised serious questions with the assertion that there was in fact any subsidy of net metered customers occurring, pointed out that there was a significant difference between solar owners and PURPA QF wholesale power vendors, and noted that most solar customers are still buying power from the utilities and thus contributing to the cost for transmission and distribution expenses.
Comm. Angelle asked why the issue of net metering was being deliberated by the commission when we haven’t even reached the 0.5% threshold set in the previous PSC net metering law.
Comm. Campbell and Boissiere noted that while gas is cheap right now, the last time prices spiked the public was clamoring for diversification. Solar is diversification.
And Comm. Skrmetta noted that he is considering putting solar energy on his fishing camp, but said he would be fine getting avoided cost for the energy he produced.
Public comments from solar owners, energy advocates, and industry representatives emphasized the impact a change in net metering would have on real people who have already invested under current rules, highlighted the factual inadequacies of the PSC staff report / proposed rule changes, and showcased the job creation and economic growth that the solar industry was providing for the state.
The Commission decided to postpone the vote. While the issue is still unresolved, this was the second strike for Comm. Holloway and there can be no doubt the solar supporters remain mobilized in making the case for fair and sensible net metering policy in Louisiana. The next LPSC meeting is May 21st.