Xcel abrupt and self-interested move is devastating to Colorado’s 400 solar companies. Suspending the Solar Rewards program could stop all future residential and commercial solar installations and solar leases that were counting on the rebates. The Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) predicts 2,000 to 3,000 people who work in the solar industry will loose their jobs.
Black Hills Energy in Pueblo pulled a similar move by suspending its solar rebates in October 2010 causing a 90% decrease in solar sales and significant job losses. The current solar rebate program had been working well. Slowly ratcheting down incentives as solar costs decreased, incentives were reduced nearly 50% during the past two years as solar electric costs decreased by 40-50% during the same period.
Citizens, to help reinstate solar rebates at both Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy please take two minutes to express your opinion by filling out the online form at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. Refer to docket # A-135 E.
Before Xcel pulled the rug out from under the solar industry, rebate changes were predictable, incremental and transparent. Zero notice and eliminating a successful incentive program shows Xcel’s disregard for renewable energy in our state and the environment.
Public citizen support and the passage of Amendment 37, spurred Colorado to become the #2 state in the U.S. for solar jobs with 5,300 people working in the solar industry in our state, and a national leader in reducing CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2020.
Xcel’s self-interested move makes me further distrust the utility monopoly as a future provider for Boulder’s energy future. As a concerned citizen, now I feel even more drawn to have Boulder take control of our electricity supply. More at www.renewablesYES.org.