BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A new white paper released today by health advocacy organization Gasp examines the detrimental impact of charges imposed on residential utility customers who install solar power on their own homes. The report — “An Analysis of Utility Network Use Charges for Rooftop Solar: What’s Fair?” — highlights an Alabama Power charge of $5 per kilowatt per month (which is in addition to a $5 per month connection fee).

These fines stymie growth of the solar industry, penalize homeowners who simply wish to do the right thing, and limit the freedom of homeowners to make their own energy decisions, Gasp says.

“Fixed charges for rooftop solar drive up the cost of going solar, threatening one of the the reasons people choose to go solar in the first place,” said Programs Manager Haley Lewis, who co-authored the report.

“Barriers to the growth of solar energy are being discussed all across the country, and this white paper explains to Alabamians the issues unique to our state,” Lewis explained.

“It’s critical for people to understand the policies in place that impede solar in Alabama. From there, Alabamians can engage the Public Service Commission, legislators, Alabama Power, and the media.

“We need to change the conversation about solar in Alabama. This report is designed to give folks the tools they need to drive that change.”

The report is published at Solar Works, on Medium, and via PDF.

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