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Solar plea to Belco and RA

Dear Sir,

I am writing to express my deep concern over the recent actions of our local electric company, Belco, and the Regulatory Authority, which oversees it. These actions are a disservice to local residents who have invested in solar power, an environmentally friendly and sustainable energy source.

Recently, Belco, authorised by the RA, reduced the buyback rate for excess electricity generated by residential solar panels to a level that is less than the fuel surcharge it imposes. This means that while Belco pays a pittance for the solar electricity it buys from residents, it then sells this electricity at nearly double the purchase price, for energy that did not require any fuel to produce.

In a personal example from my household in May, we used only one quarter of the electricity that we sold back to Belco. Despite this, after all fees and charges were accounted for, we received a mere $48. Belco, on the other hand, can sell the electricity received from us for more than $160, reaping an astounding profit margin in excess of 250 per cent.

This egregious profiteering not only penalises those of us who have invested in solar energy, but also serves to disincentivise others from making the switch to solar power. The environmental benefits of solar energy are well documented: it reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, lowers greenhouse gas emissions and decreases the overall carbon footprint. Yet, the existing policies are undermining these benefits by making solar power economically unviable for residents. It should be noted as well that the RA has no incentive in promoting residential solar, as it receives payment from Belco for every kilowatt-hour sold.

It is imperative that the Regulatory Authority revisits and revises these policies to ensure fair compensation for solar energy producers. Fair buyback rates that reflect the true value of solar electricity, devoid of unjust fuel surcharges, would encourage more residents to invest in solar power. This would lead to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy landscape in our community.

I urge the Regulatory Authority and Belco to rectify this situation promptly. The future of our environment and the trust of the community in our energy systems depend on it.



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Published July 06, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated July 06, 2024 at 7:10 am)

Solar plea to Belco and RA

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