This Week in Backwards: PSC member wants fee for solar energy users
Louisiana has laid out a bright future for solar energy with its one-time tax credit for homeowners who install solar panels, but it seems one elected official charged with overseeing utilities in the state wants to stop subsidizing the “1/10th of 1 percent of people” using solar energy in the Bayou State.
According to a report from EuniceToday.com, District 3 Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway is seeking ‘a monthly fee on just solar homes ... to offset the amount to Cleco, Entergy or whomever for those solar customers being on the grid.’
The fee, which Holloway says would be capped at $25 a month, is in addition to the fees solar users already pay to energy companies through a “net meter” that allows energy companies to both charge for electricity used from the grid and purchase electricity generated through the solar panels attached to the meter:
The home of Dianne Michon – which is located, ironically, in Sunset – is the only one in her neighborhood whose roof is laden with solar panels.
Michon, an Entergy customer, said she is a new solar power user who installed a system on her home this year.
“I’ve always wanted solar,” she said. “My husband used to live in California and they had major incentives for using solar power in that state.”
Houses with solar panels that generate electricity also come outfitted with a net meter, something that Michon said is her “declaration of energy independence.”
“They’re actually purchasing electricity from me right now,” she said. “When the arrow is going backwards, Entergy is purchasing electricity from me.”
Hearing about Holloway’s proposed, additional “utility charge,” Michon said made her angry.
“Why should I have to pay more for net metering? I don’t understand the purpose of raising the net metering fee,” she said. “Holloway said that the Public Service Commission’s job is to make sure that the electric companies keep their costs low so that we can afford to buy electricity. Well, it doesn’t look like (Holloway) is looking out for my best interest if he is going to allow the electric companies to go up on a net metering fee.”
Michon said that since using a solar power system on her home, her Entergy utility bill has shifted from what she expected for her last billing cycle. September’s average bill for her home – which last year was at around $185 – dropped to $50 this September, according to Michon.
“My total energy use for the month is probably around $25,” she said. “All these other fees that are tacked-on, made my bill $50. There’s a hurricane fee, I pay a customer fee. They add on all these things that make up half of my bill. But in reality, my bill is $25.”
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OCT 1 Bobby Jindal is sure doing his best to court the far right; this post on TIME magazine says he'll be over in Oklahoma today to stand beside the billionaires who own Hobby Lobby while they announce a Bible "museum." In Washington D.C. (Wonder if there will be an exhibit on Matthew 19:24?)
OCT 1 Blogger Ian McGibboney is taking a look at the penalty call that is causing a stir. During a Monday NFL game, a player for the Chiefs executed a Muslim prayer gesture following a touchdown. The NFL has announced that the call was wrong, but Ian's not so sure.
OCT 1 Looks like hoards of whining college students and (extremely unflattering) satire can make a difference: The Advocate reports here that lease talks have reopened for Highland Coffees, a coffee shop near the north gates of LSU. Earlier this week, dismay was unleashed when the paper reported that the shop would be closing because its landlord had other plans for the space.
OCT 1 Blogger Mike Deshotels is outlining the flaws he sees in the so-called "Value Added Model" of teacher evaluation. It basically seeks to pay teachers according to how their students do on tests. (Sure hope they don't start using that model for doctors!) He's got a lot of information here, not just about the plan but about the people involved - and their history.
OCT 1 Columnist Jim Beam breaks down the difference between ISIS and ISIL, along with origins of each group and what has been reported about them over the years. It's a good clear primer if you're one of those continually confused by the names being thrown around.
OCT 1 Blogger Tom Aswell brings us up to date on the latest mess surrounding the Office of Group Benefits, which handles health insurance for state employees. It ain't pretty, and it has left Tom pleading for anyone who might be remotely competent in the Division of Administration to get in touch with him.
OCT 1 Look out! Some enterprising individual, who knows how to register a domain, has pulled off a stunning bit of hilarity here. Not long ago, blogger Lamar White Jr. gave us a post on Louisiana Family Forum, and how it is not a charity but is instead a tax shelter for a lobby. If you go to the interwebs and type in "louisianafamilyforum.com" you will find Lamar's story. Heh.
SEP 30 Here's another story that makes Louisiana look backward; blogger Manny Schewitz writes about a church that won't allow AA to use its facilities because those boozers might track in some gay. Every time he sees one of these, as he calls them "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" type of stories, he always starts wishing: "Please don't let it be Louisiana... Please don't let it be Louisiana..."
SEP 30 This post on PoliticusUSA, an extremely liberal blog, takes aim at Bobby Jindal's disingenuous attempts to play both sides against the middle on the evolution/creationism issue. Jindal is "dutifully serving his Koch masters" on the climate change issue as well, blogger Rmuse writes.
SEP 30 Ever wonder what goes on in a football locker room following a game like Sunday's embarrassment? Here's a post on ESPN about the "reality check" the Saints had. Among the comments: "Right now we're not a very good football team."
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