Opinion

Older adults should not foot the bill for solar incentives

To the Editor;

AARP Maine is urging everyone who relies on Central Maine Power or Versant Power for their electricity to contact their state senators and ask them to pass LD 1347 and reform the state’s net energy billing program.

The first step was taken by the Maine House when it passed an amended version of the bill on June 27. It comes before the Senate after the July 4 holiday.

CMP and Versant Power customers are already about to experience a hike in their monthly electric bills partly because of net energy billing. Which adds to the steep increase to the standard offer added to bills earlier this year. 

Net energy billing provides overly generous subsidies to solar developers that we believe are not needed to aid the transition to renewable energy. The program will cost Mainers roughly $220 million annually and will continue for 20 years, according to the Office of the Public Advocate. This is why AARP Maine is calling on the Senate to revise the program by passing LD 1347.

To be clear, AARP strongly supports the transition to renewable energy, but this transition cannot be funded by asking the most vulnerable Mainers, particularly older adults who live on low and fixed incomes, to foot the bill.

We believe LD 1347 will bring this program back to its intended goal for small rooftop solar projects where most of the energy is used by the owner. LD 1347 is currently the only bill that will meaningfully rein in the high costs to customers.

We urge you to contact your state senators today and ask them to support LD 1347 and promote fair and reasonable electric rates.

Alf Anderson

Associate state director for advocacy and outreach

AARP Maine

Portland

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