TV station gets it: Territoriality Law prevents solar in Georgia

Local TV is getting it about solar in Georgia, and what’s holding it back!

WSBTV.com posted 20 November 2012, Georgia law keeps power customers from saving with solar energy

Supporters say it could save some people big on their electric bills, but leasing solar panels in Georgia isn’t worth it because of a current state law.

Critics believe it gives Georgia Power a solar monopoly and prevents consumers from saving money.

Jeff Sain installed solar panels on his Dunwoody house because his electric bill was nearly $600 a month in the summer. With solar his Georgia Power bill plummeted.

“The first month’s power bill, I saved 91 percent on my power bill,” Sain said.

Purchasing solar panels required a big outlay of cash. Sain spent $32,000.

But companies in 14 states now offer systems that can be leased with no upfront costs. However, you get less in savings because you have split it with the leasing company providing the equipment.

“Typical savings if you lease panels as people do in other states will be 30 to 50 percent of your power bill,” Consumer advocate Clark Howard said.

The main law that prevents us getting financing for solar like in about 46 other states is the 1973 Territorial Electric Service Act, which SB 401 would have changed back in February.

WSBTV gets it about what Georgia Power is afraid of:

Senate Bill 401 would have made it legal for solar companies to sell excess energy. The bill had bi-partisan support but Georgia Power opposed it and the bill was shelved for 2012.

“The reason they opposed it is they know there would be far more solar installed in Georgia. They are frightened of that,” Howard said.

Georgia Power is afraid of Georgia Solar Utilities (GaSU), Dr. Smith, and you. GaSU got the PSC to recommend them to be a utility, but will GaSU help change the Territoriality Law so we can all get financing for rooftop solar?

-jsq

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  1. Pingback: Solar could burn utility business model | On the LAKE front

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