Alabama Power has approved the introduction of higher monthly fees for solar homeowners, which will slash electricity costs. The Alabama Public Service Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to allow Alabama Power to raise fees for customers using solar or other alternative energy sources, but rejected a proposal to end the tax credit for those who own solar plants and raised the fee to 8 percent. Alabama's Public Service Commission, which regulates investors - Alabama Power Co. - rejected a push by Alabama Electric & Co., the state's largest utility. Gas Co. (AEG) to regulate their customers and increase their monthly electricity bills.
The fee is $1 per kilowatt-hour, with solar and other energy consumers reselling excess electricity to the local utility. The fees are about $2,000 a year for residential and $3,500 for commercial customers, according to a news release from Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Alabama Electric & Co., the state's largest utility. Co. (AEG). The fee will also take the form of a monthly fee of about $5 to $10 per kWh for homeowners or $6 to $10 for business customers, in addition to the fees for solar or other "legacy" users, where they sell the excess electricity to local utilities.
Whether or not a customer pays the fee depends on his or her tariff, and Alabama has no net meter systems. The state has a fixed fee for residential customers in Alabama's power service area, which covers the southern two-thirds of the state. Solar power - Generators must pay $5 per kilowatt hour per month, according to the press release.
Alabama Power spokesman Michael Sznajderman said the company pays solar and other alternative energy customers for excess electricity as long as the customer can supply it. Alabama Power said the fee is necessary to maintain infrastructure that can provide backup electricity to customers when solar panels do not provide enough power, but it argues that solar customers who remain connected to the grid must pay that fee or the cost of refunding the available electricity to other customers, according to a news release from the state Department of Public Safety and Utilities (DPSU). Alabama spokesman Michael Sz najddermen told AlabamaWatch: 'The company is paying [solar or other alternative energy sources] customers [for] excess power unless customers are able to provide [these]. Georgia Power, a subsidiary of the Georgia Public Service Company (GPSC), says it will not pay any of its customers who have excess electricity if they are unable or unwilling to return it to their grid.
If you choose solar energy, you must contact Alabama Power and complete the necessary paperwork to connect your solar panels to the utility's grid. The excess electricity generated by your solar panels can be fed into the Alabama grid and into your community. By entering your data into our solar calculator, you will receive estimated solar cost savings and learn how much a solar panel will cost you and your home, based on current electricity costs in the state of Alabama, as well as other factors such as the size of your home.
At current rates, this means your investment in Alabama will not pay off for 15 years. This deal gets worse when you consider that Alabama Power also requires a monthly payment of $1,000 per month (PAE) for the first three years of your solar system purchase. The PAe rate alone is sufficient to deter people who want to use solar energy because of the potential financial return.
I would definitely recommend Solar Alabama, but make sure your solar system is connected to the grid for home use so that it pays for itself within the first three years.
Eagle Solar Light is a Birmingham-based company that installs solar panels for households and businesses in the Birmingham, Alabama region and other parts of the state. Eagle Solar light offers its products in a variety of sizes, from small to large - and from a range of different types of solar systems.
Alabama gets more than 60 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But Alabama Power, the state's largest utility, generates more than half of its electricity from coal, well above the national and state averages. Alabama supplies electricity to about 1.5 million residents and businesses in Alabama, including the cities of Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile.
Alabama Power has said it will claw back investments in coal, investments that are a deterrent to the use of solar energy. Tait said Alabama Power was not interested in providing carbon-neutral electricity by 2050.
In addition, Alabama solar customers pay an additional fee for reserve power, and that's only a fraction of what they pay. Alabama Power has said that's why it needs to maintain the grid infrastructure to provide backup energy when the panels don't provide enough power.