As Duke Energy makes headlines for trying to lower the rates it pays North Carolina solar customers for the power they send back to the grid, TUSK features them in a new ad. The utility will be watched throughout the country to see how it handles the ongoing solar debate.
Duke Energy has been in the news lately for more than just its recent coal-ash spill. It’s also made headlines for efforts to add more green energy to its portfolio. But there’s another side to that story. The utility company has been trying to lower the rates it pays solar customers in North Carolina for the power they send back to the grid.
In an interesting twist, the former chairman of the company, Jim Rogers, recently made news when he told an interviewer that if he could do his career over again, “I’d want the solar on the rooftop…. My goal would be to take customers away from utilities as fast as I could, because I think they’re vulnerable.”
Now, the utility has been given a starring role in a new ad from TUSK (Tell Utilities Solar Won’t be Killed). It’s a must-see for anyone interested in the net metering debate.
The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) released this statement today:
Duke Energy is speaking out publicly against net metering and rooftop solar. Just last week, Duke CEO Lynn Good met with local reporters and attacked net metering to defend Duke’s monopoly.
A new ad from TUSK (Tell Utilities Solar Won’t be Killed) launched today to highlight that Duke’s opposition to net metering is a profit-protection plan. As you’ll see in the ad, Duke CEO Lynn Good affirms that she’s just “ensuring we get paid.”
Duke’s actions align with the anti-rooftop solar playbook put forth by their trade association, Edison Electric Institute (EEI). Utilities across the country adhere to this playbook, and they’ve even resorted to dirty tactics to preserve their antiquated monopolies.
Duke should fear the overwhelming public support for rooftop solar and an alternative to the monopoly. As TASC explained last week, utilities do have a choice. They can figure out how to adapt to avoid following in APS’s failed footsteps. Duke can still make the right choice, but Lynn Good’s words and actions indicate that she lacks that vision.
As the nation’s largest utility, with customers across six states, Duke has been accustomed to having a monopoly and wielding a certain amount of power (pun intended!). How it proceeds in the ongoing solar discussions will be closely watched by others. But whether they will put forth a model for others to emulate remains to be seen.