Xcel pushes state to review payments to solar-powered homes

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(Photo: Courtesy of Bob Carmichael Photography)

Photo: Solar panelsThe utility Xcel Energy says the credits the company awards Colorado residents who supply solar to the grid are too high. Xcel has asked the state to roll back those credits--what the industry calls a “net metering program.”

Solar advocates have pushed back, saying the incentives are key to adding renewable energy to the grid. Recently protesters delivered almost 30,000 petition signatures to Xcel executives, urging the utility to withdraw its proposal. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission will consider the proposal in February; a final decision is expected this summer or fall.

Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner hosted a debate between Frank Prager, Vice President of Environmental and Public Policy at Xcel Energy, and Rick Gilliam, the research director for the Vote Solar Initiative, a solar advocacy organization.

The bottom line:

  • Rick Gilliam says, "Clearly Xcel's energy plans will have a chilling effect on the solar industry."
  • Frank Prager says, "We're asking the Public Utitlities Commission to clearly identify the credit as an incentive, and determine if it's the right level."