Help Stop the Utility Grab on Solar in Maine
After months of discussion on how to implement responsible solar policy in Maine, state legislators have been left with two options: pass a modest bill that maintains the status quo with regards to net metering or vote down the bill and allow extreme new rules to be implemented by the Public Utilities Commission.
The majority report of LD 1504 directs Maine's Public Utility Commission (PUC) to evaluate the costs and benefits of Maine's current rules to inform decisions on how to best integrate solar into the grid - in other words, LD 1504 directs the PUC to use facts to arrive at a responsible decision that benefits ratepayers while simultaneously spurring local economic development.
Should this bill fail to pass, CMP and Maine's other electrical utilities will receive roughly $2 million worth of ratepayer funds in the next year. This subsidy will buy additional meters and billing system upgrades that will allow CMP to charge solar customers for energy they generate that never enters the grid.
This specific provision has created significant bipartisanship in Augusta - it is difficult to find a legislator that agrees that it is sensible to allow CMP to reach into someone's home or business to capture revenues from energy that CMP did not deliver. That ratepayers will have to be on the hook for millions makes it even more outrageous.
(Believe it or not, it gets crazier - if a solar customer is tied to the grid and has batteries, CMP would likely receive a cut of the energy that is taken off of the batteries when the grid is down and CMP has no possible way of delivering energy to the site.)
How beneficial will the defeat of LD 1504 be for CMP? Their out-of-state allies, including the Edison Electric Institute and the Consumer Energy Alliance, are spending large amounts of money to confuse Mainers and kill LD 1504.
There is a way past this.
We encourage you to contact your legislators immediately to voice support for the common sense legislation presented in the majority report for 1504. Votes could be happening as early as Thursday (6/14) or Friday (6/15) in the Senate and likely will occur in the House early next week. If you don't know your state senator or representative, this tool will help you find them.