rooftop solar | Michigan Radio
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rooftop solar

Courtesy of Kate Madigan

DTE Energy and Consumers Energy say they want significant changes made to a rooftop solar bill.  

The bill would let any homeowner with solar panels get reimbursed for the excess energy they put on the grid. Right now, the cap is set at only 1%.  Consumers Energy has already reached that cap.

Bill sponsor Greg Markkenan says he's not surprised the utilities oppose the bill. He's a Republican who represents the 110th House District in the U.P.  Markkenan says the rooftop solar industry creates good-paying jobs.

Courtesy of Kate Madigan

An industry group says some solar panel installers are thinking about leaving Michigan. That’s because they believe sales will drop dramatically because of a cap on how much residential and commercial solar a utility must allow.

A 2016 law sets a cap on some outside renewable energy sources  based on one percent from of a utility’s average peak demand. Consumers Energy is close to hitting that peak.

Courtesy of Kate Madigan

Consumers Energy is hoping to slash what it pays rooftop solar customers for the electricity they produce.

The utility wants to compensate those customers 46% less for their electricity than what it currently charges.

solar panels on roof of home
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In May, the Michigan Public Service Commission approved a new, so-called "inflow/outflow" model for  rooftop solar rates, replacing the former "net metering" scheme.

Solar installation companies say the new rates are slowing demand for rooftop solar already.

Under net metering, people would get a credit for excess energy they put onto the grid, equal to the rate they were being charged for using their utility's electricity.