With over 300 days of sunshine in Colorado, we felt that utilizing solar to power our home would be a wise decision. In 2016 we finished our 10kw (36 panels) system installation at a substantial out-of-pocket cost to us.
In January 2019, SDCEA put out an article in their Colorado Country Life magazine about net metering. The overall tone of the article was negative and dismissive of residential net metering. Chief complaints included the “low-value power” generated by net metering (solar power is not generated at night) along with the billing and tax challenges created by residential net metering. To those of us who choose to utilize renewable energy, the whole article felt like an attempt to justify SDCEA’s refusal to change or innovate and a put down of those of us who choose to utilize renewable resources.
Now in 2022, SDCEA is once again penalizing residential net metering by creating a new distribution fee that will heavily impact members who make their own power via solar or wind or just use very little power in general, like small homes. This new fee system encourages excessive coal-powered energy use. The more coal-powered electricity you use, the lower your distribution fee will be. Again, the argument is that net metering is hard to manage. While just recently Colorado Public Radio ran a piece about Xcel Energy’s exploration of turning the Hayden, CO coal-fired power plant into a giant battery storage facility to make better use of renewable energy. How innovative!
I completely understand that providing electrical power is complex and I certainly don’t understand the half of it. There are no easy answers. However, SDCEA’s messaging and apparent attitude continues to be dismissive of renewable energy and implies a refusal to change, to innovate, and to be forward-thinking.
Just last week, they issued a letter to net metering users attempting to explain their reasoning for the new fees. In this letter, they had the gall to suggest ways that members can conserve energy, essentially absolving themselves of any responsibility and making it the consumer’s “fault” for choosing renewable energy. Solar is here to stay (coal does not last forever) and it’s time for SDCEA to catch up.