Georgia Power is offering 5,000 Residential Net Metering Contracts – How Can You Qualify?
Net Metering Georgia is here. Good news for Georgia Homeowners that are ready to install Solar Power. Georgia regulators cleared the way to approve the installation of 32 MW of residential rooftop solar power. This move will increase the number of homes using solar by 500%.
Although many Solar Supporters were unhappy with the program’s cap at 5,000 installations, they are happy to get something moving the program forward.
Advocacy groups urged the Commission to require Georgia Power to use monthly netting for customers with on-site solar participating in the utility’s rooftop solar tariff, which would allow those customers to capture more value from their private investments while helping to boost economic growth and expand Georgia’s homegrown rooftop solar industry.
Fee hike for all
Throughout the proceedings, advocacy groups urged the Commission to reject Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike, arguing that it would be among the highest investor-owned utility fixed charges nationwide, discourage investments in energy efficiency and solar, and disproportionately impact customers earning a lower or fixed income.
The PSC rejected Georgia Power’s original proposal to increase fixed fees from $10 per month to $17.95 per month on customers’ monthly bills while approving a $4 increase overall, with the first $2 increase in 2021 and another $2 increase in 2022.
The Southern Environmental Law Center intervened on behalf of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, Southface Institute and Vote Solar in the first rate case Georgia Power has filed in six years.
Improved customer access to energy usage data
The groups advocated for Georgia Power to develop a data access implementation plan that would allow all interested residential and small business customers to monitor and optimize their energy usage, giving them more control over energy costs. Access to energy usage information is critical to ensuring customers have the freedom to manage their electric bills as Georgia Power works to develop and offer more modern electric rates.
The Commission ordered Georgia Power to work with staff to develop options for customers who want access to their energy usage data. The order allows only those parties that signed the settlement to participate in the development of the plan — that means no parties representing residential customers will have a say. Further, the order will not require any quick action; instead, customers might have to wait until 2022 or later.
How Net Metering Works
If you’re not familiar with net metering, it works like this: when your solar panels produce more electricity than your home needs, that excess power is sent to your electric grid. Your utility company will then credit your account for that electricity. This reduces the electric bill even further, and may even negate it completely!
Georgia’s Clean Energy Future
While the program is currently first-come, first-serve, it allows 5,000 more solar customers to enjoy greater savings from their Georgia solar panels. The Georgia Public Service Commission opened the door for energy freedom, local jobs and hardworking Georgia families. Georgia families and businesses that invest in affordable, clean rooftop solar will be treated fairly on their electric bills. Not only will fair accounting benefit rooftop solar customers, but all Georgia Power customers will benefit from a cleaner, more distributed grid that will bolster reliability and increase participation in Georgia’s energy future.
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