“Net metering: We can do the right thing” by Michael Fleming, published in Foster’s.
Recently the Durham Unitarian Universalist Fellowship became the first house of worship in New Hampshire to install a solar array. As someone who was part of the effort to make that happen, I share a sense of pride with other members of the Fellowship.
Nevertheless, speaking for myself (I can’t speak for the Fellowship) I’m concerned that our success may represent not only the first, but also one of the last, solar installations by New Hampshire churches.
One important factor that made our efforts successful was net metering. Under net metering, during summer months the solar panels will produce excess electricity, earning credits that can be used during low-power winter months. Unfortunately, New Hampshire currently has a cap on net metering, which — if not modified significantly — means that in the future solar electricity will likely not be financially viable for New Hampshire’s homes, schools, businesses, and places of worship. Our Fellowship got through the net metering cap “door,” but that door seems to be closing behind us.
To the extent that net metering is restricted going forward, and consequently solar installations are severely hampered, the result will be that a corresponding amount of power will be generated by fossil fuels. Thousands of tons of carbon dioxide will be produced that could have been avoided, contributing to climate change.