The playing field for rooftop solar is anything but equal across the Southeast and today a new tool, RatesOfSolar.com, lets electric utility customers see the dollars behind their policies. The interactive site, developed by SELC, provides simple, straightforward information about how utilities across the Southeast are treating customers with rooftop solar on their homes. For the first time, customers can easily access information on more than 400 utility solar policies across SELC’s six-state region.
“With Rates of Solar, we aim to distill complicated rooftop solar policies for hundreds of utilities across the Southeast into simple, compelling stories that resonate with customers, advocates, utilities, and decision-makers,” said Jill Kysor, SELC staff attorney. “This website provides a road map for educating and engaging communities interested in how their local utility stacks up against others when it comes to rooftop solar issues across the region.”
Across the sunny South, people are turning to affordable rooftop solar to meet their energy needs. According to a recent report by the Solar Energy Industries Association, U.S. solar capacity is expected to more than double over the next 5 years. SELC is playing a key role in that growth by engaging with utilities, policy makers, solar installers, and customers across the Southeast to encourage this transition to clean, renewable solar energy.
Currently the Southeast has over seven gigawatts of solar installed, and another 10 gigawatts of capacity is projected for installation over the next five years. Southerners have some of the highest residential electric bills in the country and going solar is one of the few options consumers have when it comes to making their own energy choices. But, until now, there has been no comprehensive resource to help customers understand how their utility would charge them for installing rooftop solar systems on their homes. Creating RatesOfSolar.com was an unprecedented undertaking that drew on SELC’s various areas of expertise to collect this data and organize it in a user-friendly way.
“We believe that everyone should have the ability to harvest the sun’s energy at a reasonable price—creating stronger, cleaner, and healthier communities for all,” said Lauren Bowen, SELC staff attorney. “This website provides one of the first comprehensive views of how solar customers are treated by utilities across the Southeast.”
Solar Makers and Brakers
The website’s launch coincides with the release of SELC’s inaugural Solar Makers and Brakers list. The 2018 Solar Makers include Southern electric utilities with current programs and policies that encourage rooftop solar investments. The list also includes the region’s Solar Brakers, or utilities with rooftop policies that undermine and, in some cases, completely put the brakes on solar’s emergence as a feasible, cost-effective, and clean energy choice for customers. Below are the 2018 Solar Makers and Brakers.