The State of Solar: Solar Policies in Florida, Vermont, and Colorado
Within the last few years, many states in the country have stepped up their commitment to supporting solar through incentives, mandates, and energy goals. However, each state has taken their own unique approach to incorporating solar into their agendas. Here are some examples of how differently three states approach the Solar Industry.
These types of policies make it virtually impossible to build any kind of large scale utility or commercial solar.
However, one of the most interesting outcomes of these restrictive laws is that there is now a growing movement within the state led by….wait for it….the Tea Party, Conservative Christians, Libertarians, Democrats, and Environmentalist. No joke. These groups—who I am not sure have ever collectively agreed on anything in the history of politics in the United States—have come together to advocate for solar friendly policies that would break up the private utility monopoly that currently resides in Florida and promote solar growth! When that many diverse groups come together on a single issue, it may be time to listen up Florida.
Unlike Florida, the Green Mountain State strives to be on the forefront of everything renewable. Even though Vermont may not be the first state you think of when you think of solar, it does receive about 85% of the sunshine Miami does and also has relatively expensive electric utility rates. That coupled with great state and utility incentives make Vermont a prime location for solar for your home or solar for your business. Recently, through the help of residential and commercial solar arrays, Burlington was able to make history by being the first city in the country to run solely on renewable energy.
Vermont’s largest city was able to accomplish this great feat after a decade of working towards this goal. Even more ambitious, Vermont plans on using renewable energy for 90% of their power needs by 2050. Vermont’s greatest advantage is that it has involved constituents, politicians, and utility companies that are willing to work together to support renewable energy, like solar However, it is important to keep in mind that Vermont is a small, politically homogeneous state, with roughly 625,000 residents. This means that they may not have the same road blocks other states do in regards to solar policies. But it is nice to see one little state making such a big commitment to solar.
For instance, Xcel Energy—Colorado’s largest power provider—has tried to oppose Colorado’s net metering policy in recent years via. This policy allows solar electric system owners to sell excess energy they produce back to the grid. Net Metering can make PV systems profitable and is a great incentive for businesses and home owners to invest in solar. Thankfully, Xcel was not successful in this pursuit and Colorado still has net metering.
If you are interested in solar for your home or solar for your business, contact one of our Solar Consultants at (970) 963-1420
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