2017-08-18 / Letters

Vote is a blow to the solar industry

To the editor:

Central Maine Power, Gov. LePage and Rep. Sirocki continue to resist the inevitable change to a clean energy future. Republicans again defeated a modest solar bill that would have prevented onerous PUC solar rules from going into effect which will result in rate increases for everyone and a blow to the solar industry.

As spokesperson for Republicans on NPR, Sirocki’s final, emphasized words were, “It’s just not fair,” her theme that ratepayers subsidize rich solar owners.

I’m not rich and all I needed to get 100 percent financing was good credit.

Just not fair? Just not true. Some aspects of the bill did raise costs, but these were compensated by cost saving features, that Sirocki ignores.

It’s just not fair for Rep Sirocki to ignore the following:

 Solar reduces the need to activate expensive peak power generators on hot summer days.

 Solar’s surplus power reduces expensive new distribution infrastructure.

 PUC rules will require that everyone pay for the expensive new meters and billing system.

 Incredibly, new rules require solar owners to pay CMP a fee for power they generate and use at home. Would you pay the grocer for tomatoes you grew in your garden?

 Solar offers Americans hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs. Maine’s solar industry is threatened. Maine has 500 solar jobs, Vermont 1,000 and Massachusetts has 15,000. Backwardness will not grow Maine.

 Young Mainers trust us to ensure a livable future. We are failing in our adult responsibilities.

It seems that CMP, governor and Rep. Sirocki serve interests other than the public. Just not fair, indeed.

Charles Spanger

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