Lawmakers Side with Duke Energy, Opposing Solar
North Carolina is falling behind when it comes to solar energy. Duke energy and politicians in Raleigh are why we are one of only 7 states that bans individuals from selling excess electricity that rooftop systems generate. Our politicians need to understand that solar power is the future. The industry is giving people jobs and helping the environment. We need to work harder to help it!
But we're also one of just seven states - all in the South - that ban individuals from selling excess electricity that rooftop systems generate. This makes home solar installations more expensive and less attractive as a home-improvement investment, especially since electric rates here are much cheaper than in most other parts of the country. Only 7 percent of North Carolina's solar capacity comes from small, household or business installations.
State Rep. John Szoka, a Fayetteville Republican, filed a bill last year that would have allowed "third-party" energy sales to encourage the growth of home-based solar. But his bill never got out of committee, and he doesn't expect it will in this year's short session. The principal reason was intense opposition from the power industry, including Duke Energy, the largest electricity supplier in the state and the biggest electric utility in the country.
That needs to change. Solar is one of the big power supplies of the future. The industry is developing rapidly, and costs are plunging. This state has become a national leader in solar development, and that is creating thousands of jobs and helping keep beleaguered farmers afloat with lease payments for solar farms.