Another Energy Bill Hearing Thursday
21 Wednesday Mar 2012
If you think that the Georgia Legislature’s game of “Whack A Mole” against renewable energy bills this year has been utter and complete annihilation, you would be correct. Almost. There is still one more out there, and potentially, more surprises in store.
On Thursday, 3/22, a hearing will take place in the Senate Mezannine (Capitol Building) of the Senate Regulated Industries to discuss HB520- a bill to increase the amount of energy that a utility “shall” buy from a “customer generator” to 2.5%, up from .2 %
Representative Don Parsons, who sponsored the, hopefully dead (HB818) to slash the tax credits for renewable energy-but failed to point this out clearly to the full legislature or the full judiciary committee- is the sponsor of HB520, which on it’s face, would continue the practice of allowing Georgia Power to purchase electricity from “customer generators” who make their own electricity through solar panels, but only at avoided cost. “Avoided Cost” is a term the power industry uses to refer to the amount of money you have to pay them for the privilege of adding peak power resources (like solar) to their electric grid. The same power that the utility will charge $1.20 per KWh for on a hot sunny afternoon, you will get a whopping 5 cents for. This is called “not- metering” and is entirely different from “net-metering”, which in most other states allows for a fair exchange of power resources at market rates. (ie, I pay 10 cents for your power, you pay 10 cents for mine).
Given the amount of rancor that exists among industry, legislative and regulatory players in the renewable energy sector in Georgia, it would be advisable for all interested parties to be at this meeting at 3pm tomorrow to see what happens next.