Equity and unintended consequences

Coop Currents Coop News

It’s the poor feeding the rich. Mack Gardner-Morse Today, WEC Treasurer Don Douglas said, net metering is “shifting the cost of running the Co-op from everybody to just the people who don’t have solar or some other form of net metering.” It’s a fundamental issue of fairness raised by regulators, WEC leaders, members, and others. When the PUC requested comments …

Who pays the cost of poles and wires

Coop Currents Coop News

All members require infrastructure, but cost to maintain it is shifted to ratepayers WEC’s infrastructure costs have risen in recent years. The Co-op has prioritized improving reliability in the face of climate change-related storms and tree damage: that means replacing old poles, installing new poles to shorten long spans of wire, removing “danger trees” that could fall on the lines, …

An attractive partnership

Coop Currents Coop News

Under Vermont’s net metering rules, large utility customers have a financial incentive to partner with solar developers Anyone who’s run a business knows you can’t sell your product for less than you pay for it. Barry Bernstein “Since I left the legislature [in 2017], calculation rules have been drastically altered to create large commercial development of solar power,” said Tony …

The birth of an industry

Coop Currents Coop News

How the renewable energy movement led to the creation of net metering When Vermont’s legislature created the state’s net metering program in 1999, said former Board President Barry Bernstein, WEC was a strong supporter. “The intent of the net metering program was to support and encourage a fledgling industry so they could get their feet on the ground,” he explained. …