Published on WBZ Radio, 1/22/2018
BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM) -- You may have to pay up to the electric company after installing solar panels on your house, all thanks to a ruling from the Commonwealth’s Department of Public Utilities.
Earlier this month the DPU said yes to allow Eversource to impose what’s called a ‘demand charge’ on solar panel customers.
It would add about $100 dollars a year to your bill.
While Eversource has said the fee is to connect houses back to the grid, solar companies and advocates for alternative energy are not happy with it.
Natalie Holtgrefe is with Boston solar, and points out this is not a solar company fee.
"Eversource has said they are going to implement a demand charge as of January 1st 2019, however anyone who has installed on December 31, 2018 or before will not be affected," she said.
Peter Rothsteen is President of the Northeast Clean Energy council and says this is the wrong step for the state to take, and will make it make harder for both customers and solar companies to install solar.
"It's going to make it harder for the solar companies to explain because the information isn't there it will make it harder for the customers to make a buying decision," he said.
According to Rothsteen he said the decision will hinder growth in the market.
"And that really is going to be a set back for solar growth, for solar jobs and solar values to customers," Rothsteen said.
"This decision by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities is a step in the wrong direction. It's creating a brand new customer charge for those residential customers who want to go solar, he said."
WBZ NewsRadio1030's Karyn Regal reports.