Last year my husband and I installed solar panels on our property to generate electricity for our household.
We paid for and maintain our solar panels with our own money. Essentially, we have a power plant that the utility gets to use for free. In fact, the utility company makes money off of us. Any excess power that we produce is purchased by the utility and then, after they double the price, they sell it back to other consumers.
So why then do people repeatedly say, “Our utility rates are going up because of you!” The reality is that power companies made bad investments in out-of-date technology and now they are passing the cost on to you.
For years the power companies have been encouraging consumers to be more energy efficient: install LED lightbulbs, insulate your attic, lower the temperature on your water heater, etc. And now they’re going to penalize you.
The proposed rate hikes will affect the lowest energy users the hardest.
Let me put things into perspective. Say you arrive at a gas station to fill up your car. Before you even pump one drop of gasoline, the station charges you $15. You then proceed to fill up your tank which will be a separate fee than the $15 you already paid. If you drive a gas-guzzler, your cost per gallon of gas will be less than if you drive a more efficient car.
The proposed rate hikes are a direct attack on renewable energy in Wisconsin. Did you know that there are more U.S. jobs in renewable energy than there are in coal and automobiles?
Let’s follow our state motto and move “Forward” in our quest for true energy independence. Renewable energy is our future.