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Policy critique ignores benefits of solar to all ratepayers

The June 29 opinion piece “Nonsolar users bear burden of net metering” ignores the benefits of solar to all ratepayers, and presents a one-sided view of costs based on incomplete calculations that were compiled by the utilities. The piece also ignores the overall value of solar in creating high-quality local jobs in the Commonwealth and in preventing harmful emissions. The Net Metering and Solar Task Force report shows that the benefits of solar far outweigh the costs, providing a net benefit of $9b to the Commonwealth.

The Baker administration supports reaching at least 1,600 megawatts of solar while minimizing costs to ratepayers. However, according to the task force, the pathway described by the op-ed’s authors — to not raise the net-metering caps — is the most expensive scenario for meeting the 1,600-megawatt goal.

The solar industry shares the goal of making energy more affordable for customers now and over the long term. Immediately lifting the net-metering caps would enable Massachusetts to take advantage of federal tax credits that expire in 18 months. We support establishing a long-term solar and net-metering policy framework. Let’s work together in good faith toward a sustainable solar policy.

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Janet Gail Besser

Vice president, New England Clean Energy Council

Fred Zalcman
Solar Energy Industries Association
Bill Stillinger
Solar Energy Business Association of New England
Boston

The writers served on the Net Metering and Solar Task Force. Zalcman is managing director of government affairs for the Northeast at SunEdison, and Stillinger is president of PV Squared.