Dear Citizens of Blount County,
If you’ve ever thought about solar panels for your home, church, or small business, be aware that Alabama Power charges a fee – a tax – for each solar panel. That monthly fee ($5 per kW) may not seem like a lot, but over time, it will cut your savings in half and double the time to pay off your investment. In other words, it is a disincentive for using solar power and for the creation of solar-related jobs.
Given the damage done to our water and air quality by traditional methods of producing energy, we need incentives to increase alternative energy sources, not disincentives.
The mission of the Public Service Commission includes providing consumers with “services at rates that are equitable and economical.” Given this mission, they are not doing their job. Alabama has one of the highest fees on self-generated power with grid backup in this country. Now, Alabama Power is proposing to raise that fee!
A request for a public hearing on the solar tax issue is before the PSC (dockets 32767 and U-4226) so citizens can be better informed and voice their concerns about energy generation and its cost in Alabama. I urge readers to write or call members of the Public Service Commission in support of a public hearing.
Public Service Commission
100 N Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
Sharon J. Cook, Ph.D.