PROVO, Utah – Some people who who bought solar panels will only get half as much money back from Provo City, and some folks are pretty mad about it. People in the industry think it could hurt future sales of solar panels.
Dennis Heaston and his wife installed solar panels back in May to “do our part to go green.” But Provo City officials saw a problem with solar panels.
Councilwoman Kim Santiago said users are “not paying anything toward the infrastructure and yet they are using the infrastructure.”
So Santiago helped put together a committee to find a solution. “We gave them a voice, (and) we had them come back with a decision.”
Last month, the city council passed an ordinance that will cut in half the amount that the city credits solar users for the energy their panels generate.
“It makes it a little more equitable for the non-solar customers, because everybody should contribute to the infrastructure,” Santiago said.
Solar panels pay themselves back in about ten years or so by generating energy. But the solar association president Ryan Evans said that this credit cut in Provo will add about four years to that time. Evans also said it will have a definite negative impact on Provo’s solar future.
Heaston is also not in favor.
“I would think that Provo would want to encourage anything possible to reduce the flora carbons,” he said.
Santiago on the other hand, is positive about the outcome.
“It’s a little more equitable the way that it is now… and I feel like because the process was good, I was very comfortable voting for it in the end.”
Homeowners in Provo who had solar panels or signed an installment contract before Oct. 4 of last year will be grandfathered in. Everyone else will begin the new rate on March 31.
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