Resolution Concerning Special Markets for Direct Solar Power Sales
WHEREAS, the solar power industry is pressuring the states to create special markets allowing the solar power industry to sell electricity directly to consumers; and
WHEREAS, utilities already purchase and produce solar power at the utility level and provide solar power to electricity consumers; and
WHEREAS, consumers are currently free to purchase solar power equipment and generate solar power for their own use; and
WHEREAS, federal, state, and local subsidies pay for a minimum of 30% of solar power equipment, and often much more; and
WHEREAS, every new increment of solar power necessarily increases overall taxpayer subsidies and resultant taxation to pay for the subsidies; and
WHEREAS, solar power subsidies go to the owners of solar power equipment rather than the purchasers of solar power; and
WHEREAS, direct solar power sales will take existing subsidies away from individual home owners and business owners with solar power equipment and give them instead to the solar power industry; and
WHEREAS, creating a special market for direct solar power sales will discourage the sale of solar power equipment to consumers while incentivizing industry to keep ownership of the equipment so that it may keep the consumers’ subsidies; and
WHEREAS, the vertical structure of the solar power industry and industry ownership of its own equipment incentivizes the solar power industry to overestimate the “fair market value” of its on-site equipment, and thus collect higher subsidies; and
WHEREAS, the solar power industry has used its power to write electricity sales contracts to severely disadvantage consumers regarding upkeep, maintenance, liability, home structural damage, and other terms and conditions of the contracts; and
WHEREAS, the subsidy rate for on-site solar power equipment is significantly higher than the subsidy rate for utility-scale solar power; and
WHEREAS, on-site solar power is substantially more costly to produce than conventional power and utility-scale solar power; and
WHEREAS, solar power receives substantially more subsidies than conventional power sources;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the American Legislative Exchange Council encourages state policymakers to encourage free markets and affordable energy by refraining from granting special privileges to the solar power industry to sell electricity directly to consumers.
Approved by the ALEC Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force at the ALEC Annual Meeting on Thursday July 23, 2015 and Friday, July 24, 2015. Approved by ALEC Board of Directors on September 4, 2015.