MAILBOX: Utility Policy

Mississippi map
Some Mississippi utilities have a backwards attitude toward RE.
Mississippi map

I would like to see an article comparing the major utilities’ policies toward renewable energy (RE). I am motivated out of disgust about the attitude of my own provider (Mississippi Power), which requires paying fees for a net usage meter of $0.53 per day! I find this outrageous—some simple arithmetic will show that about 1 kW of additional PV capacity would be required to offset that cost. For example, to install a grid-connected PV system on my home, I would have to size it first to my anticipated usage, and then add another 1 kW of capacity just to offset the cost of meter rental!

My state has absolutely no incentives for RE installations, and although Mississippi Power is a member of the TVA Network, they choose not to participate in any of TVA’s incentive programs. A particular kicker is that I live in southwest Mississippi, only about 5 miles from the Louisiana border, and Louisiana has some of the nation’s best incentives. I guess I’m curious whether other utilities around the nation have similar policies, and if they do, what might be done about it. I realize that there are hundreds of power suppliers and an article encompassing all of them would be enormous, but a study of the major providers and their policies would certainly be well-received, particularly by those of us who are adversely affected by their utilities’ greedy policies.

Frederick Smallwood • via email

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