Four hundred Colorado voters were surveyed on their opinions of net metering last month, and results of the survey show that almost 4 out of 5 Coloradans (78 percent) support giving full retail credit for the extra energy that families, schools and businesses produce from solar panels on their rooftops. Only 11 percent showed opposition toward net metering.
Meanwhile, Colorado utility Xcel Energy is proposing to significantly undermine metering and give half the credit to consumers for the valuable energy they feed back to the grid. Xcel then turns around and sells this excess energy at the full retail rate to nearby homes. .
The poll shows 75 percent of voters oppose Xcel’s proposal to roll back net metering, while only 16 percent support the proposal. Even within Xcel territory, 79 percent of ratepayers support net metering.
About half of the voters polled said that they do not currently have rooftop solar, but would be interested in getting it at some point in the future. Eighty percent of voters within this segment opposed Xcel’s plan to slash net metering credits.
Even the 46 percent of state voters who do not plan on getting rooftop solar are generally against Xcel’s proposed policy change, with 68 percent of those polled in this segment opposing the proposal.
Despite the $11 million in annual benefits that net metered solar provides to Xcel ratepayers, the monopoly utility continues to attack the current net metering policy. And Xcel is not alone in its attempt. Its actions align with the release of a report published by the Washington D.C utility industry group Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which warned of the threat that renewable energy could pose on the monopolistic positions of utilities nationwide.
Monopoly utilities launched several failed attempts across the country this year to weaken rooftop solar by squashing net metering. Voters in Louisiana, California, Arizona, and Idaho all upheld net metering. With that in mind, and based on the results of this poll, Xcel Energy’s fight against Coloradans is not going to be an easy one.