This letter responds to The Gazette’s July 24 article, “There goes the sun?”
Our commitment to sustainable energy led us to install solar panels two years ago. We generate more electricity than we use five months each year, sending excess back into Alliant’s energy grid; we generate most of our electricity for two additional months. During the remaining five months, we continue to generate electricity for our home, but we buy extra from Alliant.
Whether we generate excess electricity or buy extra, we pay the same basic service charge and franchise fee every month. Those fees are the same rate we paid before installing solar. We bank credit for excess kilowatts April through August, reducing our electricity costs in autumn. We pay transmission fees the months we buy extra electricity. How is it we are benefiting on the backs of everyone else?
Since our house is well-insulated and shaded by trees, we rarely use air conditioning. We send extra electricity into the energy grid at peak use hours in summer when more businesses are open and AC, dehumidifiers, and refrigeration are cranked up.
All the solar panels you see in the city and county are doing two things. They reduce or delay the need for new coal, gas, or nuclear power-generating plants, which would be a significant cost to Alliant and its customers. And they move us toward sustainable energy, away from finite, polluting fossil fuels. What a shame to see policies that discourage solar development.