Advocates of Net Energy Metering call it the most successful method so far to get people off fossil fuels. Now the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has ended the program for new solar customers.
“The energy industry is not static. We have to continue to evolve our policies, our initiatives and our programs,” PUC chairman Randy Iwase said.
The PUC’s order cuts the credit new PV customers will get for sending excess energy to the grid from 26.8 cents per kilowatt hour to about 15 cents under a new Grid Supply program.
“That 15.07 cents on Oahu is an incentive,” Iwase said.
But RevoluSun’s Colin Yost believes it will make it harder for consumers with low to moderate incomes to afford solar. and solar companies will suffer.
“Just as we’re getting going and hiring more staff and hiring more crews, once again we’re hit with a policy that will likely slow us down,” he said.
Sierra Club’s Marti Townsend believes the PUC order is counter-productive.
“At this stage in the game when it’s crucial that we get everyone off fossil fuels as soon as possible, we should be expanding policies to encourage renewable energy use not ending them,” she said.