Solar power actually reduces rates for all electric customers

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Ratepayers do not end up paying more to make up for resulting loss of revenue to power companies, according to a new study.

June 28, 2016
Solar power actually reduces rates for all electric customers

Photo: Eli Christman/Creative Commons.

One of the fears stemming from the rapid growth of rooftop PVs and net metering is that other ratepayers would end up paying more to make up for resulting loss of revenue to power companies. But that is not turning out to be the case, according to a study by the Brookings Institute.

The study included several examples of solar actually lowering rates for utility customers, whether they have solar panels or not. In Maine, Missouri, Massachusetts, and Nevada, residential solar is helping solar installations sell power back to the grid at reduced prices by:

  1. Displacing the need for more expensive power sources
  2. Reducing the need to build more power plants to meet peak demand
  3. Helping to stabilize the grid
  4. Helping to meet state air quality standards

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