Letter: Solar should pay its own way

I support renewable energy. I was the driving force on the Louisiana Public Service Commission in adopting a renewable energy pilot program in 2010.

Solar is an excellent, clean source of power. However, it should simply be able to sustain itself without taxpayer dollars.

It should pay its own way! Why should taxpayers and ratepayers foot the bill for solar panels? Does the state of Louisiana have extra money to give away for solar panels?

My proposal before the LPSC is not in the best interest of the utilities! It is to halt utilities from paying retail for solar power. Any fuel cost (in this case solar) is passed through directly onto other ratepayers.

I do not think it is in the best interests of all citizens of this state to pay for 80 percent of the cost of solar panels of others, then have ratepayers absorb the high fuel cost of the solar power, pay for the net metering device and, of course, pay a huge part of the transmission and distribution of the backup power you receive from the grid when your solar panels are not producing power.

The solar industry in Louisiana has about an 80 percent subsidy. Taxpayers write a check for 50 percent of the cost for individuals installing solar systems and the federal government doles out another 30 percent of the cost thereby paying this industry 80 percent to stay afloat.

To date, Louisiana has spent over $37 million since the Legislature approved these subsidies in 2007.

Solar/net metering customers, as power producers, have been receiving retail credit for the solar power they produce and put into the grid.

Fellow ratepayers are forced to buy the power and then pay retail cost for it.

For customers who do not have net metering, know and remember this fact: The cost of fuel (in this case solar) is passed directly on to your bill.

I have a plan in which the power produced by net metering customers will still be purchased, but at a lower cost.

In closing, allow me to address the writer’s spurious accusation that I am acting in the best interest of the utilities. This gentleman has not made the effort to read LPSC transcripts or study my voting record.

I have been a consistent vote in holding the investor-owned utilities accountable. I voted against Entergy passing along the cost of Little Gypsy — a power plant that was never built and voted against Entergy getting to charge customers for the costs of Hurricane Rita and Ike to name only a few of my votes.

Clyde Holloway, member

Louisiana Public Service Comission

Forest Hill