Hoppy Kercheval had Bryan Miller of the Alliance for Solar Choice on his radio show this morning. Hoppy offered up every bogus argument against net metering that you have read about here on The Power Line over the past five years. Bryan hammered him on every one.
Here is a link to Hoppy’s show today. The interview with Mr. Miller starts at 14 minutes in.
Mr. Miller answered Hoppy’s “free rider” argument with a very important point. Mr. Miller understands the physics of electricity. He pointed out to Hoppy that electrons take the shortest route along the path of least resistance in an electrical circuit. The electrons that flow back through a solar customer generator’s meter flow directly to the nearest loads to the generator’s house. That means that the electrons that I produce and sell back to Mon Power go directly to my next door neighbors.
The only part of Mon Power’s grid that my net metered electrons use is a very short stretch of wire to my neighbor’s house. Why should I pay extra or accept less for my electricity, because I’m not paying my “fair share” of Mon Power’s grid expenses? The fact is that I don’t use much of that grid, so my “fair share” is almost zero.
Hoppy raised the issue about why customer generators should receive retail instead of wholesale prices for net metered energy. Mr. Miller responded by saying that customer generators’ electrons pass directly through the nearest wires and pass through the power company’s meter at our neighbors’ houses where those neighbors are charged retail rates for those electrons. It is only fair that power companies should not be able to profit from that neighbor to neighbor transaction by artificially buying low (from net metered generators at wholesale) and reselling those same electrons to their neighbors at retail. Net metering transactions, all at retail pricing, prevent power company monopolies from reaping that windfall.
Through out the interview, Hoppy never asked a follow-up question or contested anything Mr. Miller said. The interview was a huge win for solar in WV. The Alliance for Solar Choice, a national advocacy organization, deserves our thanks for making Mr. Miller available to speak directly to West Virginians about net metering facts.