Don’t ‘Tax the Sun,’ Says Petition Author to Energy Company | Care2 Healthy Living

Customers who switch to non-polluting energy like solar and wind should be rewarded for doing their part to get off fossil fuels and help reduce climate change. Instead, a Wisconsin utility company is trying to penalize them, by charging homeowners who install solar panels an extra fee. This petition drive aims to prevent what amounts to a “tax on the sun” before it becomes a reality.

It’s not unusual for utilities to occasionally raise their rates. But Wisconsin’s WE Energies plans to charge solar customers an added fee. The petition notes, “the added $3.80 per kilowatt hour would come to about $220 extra a year.” Such a fine would have a chilling effect in two ways. First, it burdens those who have already gone to the expense of installing solar panels. Second, it would deter other customers from doing so.

Don’t we WANT to encourage people to kick oil and coal?

A spokesperson for the utility evidently has justified the company’s action by claiming that solar customers don’t pay their fair share of the cost of operating the company’s entire power grid. However, at less than 1 percent, solar customers make up such a small percentage of the total grid that it’s hard to see how their solar choice would affect WE Energies’ profitability.

The Care2 petition is aimed at the Wisconsin Public Utility Commission, which will either approve or deny WE’s tax hike request. Notes the petition, “This is an issue important to both conservatives and liberals, because it’s not just about climate change, it’s about freedom to choose, free market competition, property rights and economic development.”

You can get more information and sign the petition here.

By the way, if there’s an issue in your community or somewhere in the world that you’d like to address, you too can start a petition and make a difference. Here’s how.

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