Posts Tagged ‘rooftop solar’

Is Austin Energy joining the war on solar?

Bit by bit, our publicly owned, nationally renowned, supposedly green electric utility is trying to roll back programs that support customer owned solar.

Austin Energy is cutting the Value of Solar tariff, which compensates solar owners for the energy they produce, by 16 percent on January 1.

A lower solar tariff means fewer people will choose to purchase solar panels, which means our environment and local economy will suffer.

Tell the Austin City Council to stand up for clean energy and pass a resolution delaying reduction of the solar tariff.

Cutting the solar tariff isn’t the only attack under way. On January 1, Austin Energy will also confiscate all solar credits. Customers earned those credits by providing energy that the utility took and sold. Now Austin Energy is planning to take those credits away.

And just this week, the utility cut solar rebates for the second time this year. These cuts were reportedly made to keep the program from running out of funds, but Austin Energy could have asked for more funding for the solar rebate budget.

The Austin City Council governs Austin Energy, so it’s up to it to keep the utility honest.

Demand a resolution delaying the solar tariff change until after the public has had a chance to give input.

While other utilities are fighting to keep customers from generating their own electricity, Austin Energy should not play that game.

Austin Energy’s solar programs have given it and our city great publicity and helped to build a growing solar economy in the Austin area. Let’s not lose that momentum.

Our utility needs to start listening to us – the people who own it.

Send the Austin City Council an email right now.

We only have a few days to stop this attack before the City Council takes its winter break. Please help by sharing this post with friends, family and neighbors in the Austin area. If you work for a solar company, please forward this email to your customers.

Read Full Post »

New federal statistics indicate the decarbonization of our nation is starting to happen.  Wind power is on the rise, big time; rooftop solar is coming down in price and large scale utility solar is beginning to be considered.

In 2008, 19,000 megawatts of new generating capacity went online. Around 8,300 megawatts of that were from wind and only 1,600 from coal with much of the rest from natural gas. Over the next few years, utilities are planning to put 27,000 megawatts of capacity on line, only 5,000 of which is coal — and 11,000 of which is wind power.

If solar (both distributed and large scale utility generation) gets a foothold combined with storage in the next several years and we pursue energy efficiency efforts agressively, we could dramatically reduce the need for the development of new fossil fuel generation.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Read Full Post »