The Jacksonville Electric Authority, or JEA, wants to make it harder for you to go solar.
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The Jacksonville Electric Authority, JEA, wants to make it harder for you to go solar. The board voted last month to slash the amount it will credit solar customers for the electricity their systems produce.
Previously, JEA credited solar customers at 10¢/kilowatt-hour for the solar they send to neighbors. This figure is equal to the cost these customers pay for electricity from JEA and is consistent with how net metering works in most of the country. The board’s voted in October to reduce this credit rate to only 3¢ per kilowatt-hour, a fraction of the true value of the electricity. JEA also came up with an arbitrary scheme to tax our solar production and calculate our production at 15-minute intervals. This will further reduce the value of our solar investment. This will impact people who have solar now as well as people who get solar in the future!
This new rate is unfair to solar customers because what their system provides is more valuable than just electricity. All utility customers benefit from having distributed solar generation. It reduces the need for expensive transmission infrastructure because the electricity is generated close to the source of energy demand. Solar energy provides low-cost electricity during the day when demand and prices for electricity are highest. This saves all customers money. Plus, local solar is clean and creates jobs in our community. What we do on our own private property to produce electricity should not be throttled by our utility. The utility is supposed to work for us, not the other way around!
Solar customers deserve a fair bill credit for the electricity their system generates. Without a fair net metering credit, JEA is making it difficult for more customers to benefit from solar energy. If we don’t act, this new system will be in place by April. This is our chance to protect solar in Jacksonville.