Lowell Rep. rips Eversource over solar charge
"The frustration that you're causing is irritating to no end," Rep. Tom Golden, a Lowell Democrat, told Eversource officials at a hearing.
Golden accused the utility of purposefully making the new charges "as confusing as possible."
The new Eversource rates were approved by the Department of Public Utilities.
State lawmakers in 2016 specifically authorized utilities to levy a minimum monthly contribution charge for solar customers who sell electricity to the grid at above-market rates under a system known as net metering.
The charges cannot "unreasonably inhibit" solar development, under the law.
While critics of the charge say it could drive up the cost of solar installations by thousands of dollars, the state's top energy official said the DPU made a "fair decision."
The minimum charge that new Eversource solar customers will owe after it goes into effect Dec. 31 will create a "sustainable pathway to pay for infrastructure," Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matt Beaton has said.
"I think if you look at where they came in and where they ended up, it was a very fair decision that makes sure that we have future investment as we transition into a more distributed energy generation — renewables — over time," Beaton said.
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