Net metering in Michigan? What a fright!

Halloween is here and monsters are lurking about—just not the ones you may be thinking of. Net metering is a ghoulish policy being pushed by out-of-state activists, and it could hurt Michigan’s energy future.

Why? It unfairly shifts the cost of maintaining the grid onto some people while others don’t pay at all, even though they rely on the grid just like us. Ultimately that leads to insufficient investment in the grid to keep it strong, resilient, and adaptable to our changing energy needs.

Sounds pretty spooky, right? Here are five reasons why net metering is brewing a cauldron full of trouble for Michigan.

  1. Unfair Cost Shifting. Part of net metering policy allows those who can afford private solar panels to sell the excess energy they generate. These private solar folks still rely on the electric grid not only to sell their excess power, but to buy extra power when the sun doesn’t produce enough energy to power their needs. The downside of this policy? They’re not paying to use the electric grid. The rest of are stuck picking up their energy tab!
  2. Unfair Access. Private solar panels can rack up a serious bill. The cost of installation alone can range from $15,000 to $29,000 alone, excluding many Michigan families from being able to choose private solar even if they wanted to—and that means many lower-income Michiganders are the ones paying the bill for their wealthier neighbors (see #1 above).
  3. Out-of-State Profiteers. Net metering is being peddled by out-of-state venture capitalists who don’t understand Michigan’s energy needs, and don’t have Michigan consumers’ best interests in mind. They claim they are fighting for sustainability, but they are concerned with lining their pockets.
  4. Lack of Efficiency. Private solar isn’t as cost-effective or efficient as large-scale solar. When we generate solar energy on a large scale, and make it accessible by everyone, it’s 50% more cost-effective than private solar. Everyone wins, regardless of socioeconomic factors.
  5. “Freedom” that Isn’t Really Free. Those in favor of net metering claim it is about energy freedom, but freedom isn’t really free if it’s only available to a select few—and if others end up paying the price.

This isn’t just a bunch of hocus pocus—net metering is a real threat to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for Michiganders. There are better ways to integrate more solar energy into our system—ways that make sure everyone gets to enjoy the benefits of this renewable power source.

Learn more about net metering here.