Question to Legislators: The new bill H4185 has been called the “Net Meter Compromise Bill” by the DOER and utility friendly media … we disagree! Our question, dear state legislators, if H4185 is truly a compromise between utilities and the solar/environmentalists, why was it drafted in secret solely by the utilities and utility sponsored out-of-state solar organizations who represent only 2% of state solar stakeholders and owners? Now we see this special interest legislation railroaded through the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy from the DOER with no public input or input from local or state organizations such as SEBANE or MASOA, for this reason alone H4185 should never have left the JCTUE for consideration by Ways & Means. So far every opportunity to speak on behalf of the rest of the 98% of the solar industry and owners has been blocked. Just yesterday (6/19/14) a closed legislative hearing on H4185 was presented by the utilities and DOER. It was open only to legislators, and prohibited to public attendance or input. Again we ask you, dear legislator, if this legislation is really going to benefit the future of solar in our state, not just the utilities and their allies, why are these hearings blocked to the majority of the solar owners/industry and the public? What do the utilities fear we, the solar stakeholder will tell you about H4185?
We have to wonder what happened to the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) who just implemented a new version of the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate program (SREC2) and now have decided to turn the future of solar PV over to utility control. It also appears that many of the once solar supportive legislators have capitulated to the powerful utility lobbyists. We can only speculate it involves money, perhaps a job offer, or other favor, but of course as wealthy and powerful as the regulated monopoly utility lobby is, they can not vote … but we the advocates of solar can.
So dear legislator, in the next few days look for a new drop down at the top of this web page titled Government Rating. As H4185 progresses through the legislature MASOA we will list how each House and Senate Member votes. Thus we strongly suggest you learn the full truth about H4185 and learn how this legislation will harm the future of solar PV in our state before voting. For a summary Q&A about H4185, click here. If you support Massachusetts solar, and want to help, consider sponsoring our primary goal; to substitute the language of H4185 with the original Net Meter compromise bill language found in S2019/H3901 (click here) as of April 2014. And if that is not possible, consider sponsoring our proposed amendments to H4185 (email firstname.lastname@example.org to get copy). And of course if you are a solar owner (PV or Thermal) consider joining MASOA by clicking Membership (or at the top of the page) and you will receive our member alerts, newsletters and be able to vote on MASOA issues.