Midwest utility Xcel Energy wants to charge anyone using solar panels a monthly fee for sustainably generating their own energy. According to company spokesman Tom Henley, “We just don’t think it’s fair that customers that don’t have solar panels on their homes should subsidize these solar panel customers any further.” Huh?
[When] pressed, Henley admitted that currently, no Xcel electric customers pay extra to fund solar connectivity fees. In reality, Xcel absorbs those fees. The money from the proposed fee would not go into the pockets of electric customers, but would go back to Xcel.
Henley said the fee is a preventative measure to ensure that, down the road, solar customers do not get free rides.
“What we’re looking to do is stop that, avoid that occurrence from happening,” he said.
Mike Jacoby, who installed solar panels on the roof of his home two years ago, bristled at the notion that he is not doing his part.
Jacoby said the installation cuts his monthly electrical fee by anywhere from 33 to 50 percent a month. In return, his home acts as a power plant, generating energy for Xcel that can power some of the homes on his block.
“Mine are generating enough to feed five or six houses around me electricity, so there’s no free ride,” said Jacoby.
Um, yeah, great work, Xcel Energy! Way to finally take a stand against those tree-hugging environmentalists trying to help reduce our dependence on oil. Those people should definitely pay a $1.90 monthly fee for hating America.