The conventional energy industry has been using its paid-for politicians and long-embedded advantages to try and prevent homeowners and businesses from embracing solar power. This has put solar advocates on the defensive for a long time, but in response to American Electric Power’s (AEP) recent anti-solar campaign, advocates for clean energy are hitting back. Hard.
Greentech Media reports that The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) has launched a new campaign centered on calling out “Un-American Electric Power” for its lobbying against solar power initiatives and consumer choice. It’s aggressive, it’s angry, and I love it.
TASC is going after AEP for lining the pockets of politicians who push their anti-solar agenda and for trying to guarantee income from its new coal-fired power plants. Arizona Public Service (APS) pushed a similar agenda in the southwestern state, trying to get solar panel owners to pay a monthly fee that would essentially wipe out the savings offered by the alternative energy source. Despite APS outspending solar advocates by about 8 to 1, solar power advocates were successful in reducing the proposed fee from $50 a month down to just $5 a month. (Still, there shouldn’t be any fee at all.)
Meanwhile, AEP has been accused of outright lying to state senators in West Virginia in an attempt to kill the growing solar industry, though the governor’s veto put an end to that. Another failed AEP proposal in Indiana sought to place fees on solar customers, and in Ohio the utility wants solar customers to help guarantee profits for a new coal power plant they may never draw a single kWh from….
Utilities like American Electric Power have proven that they’re not above dirty tactics in an attempt to stall the growing influence of solar power. But that doesn’t mean solar energy advocates can’t hit back just as hard, and with facts rather than propaganda to bolster their argument. Go get ‘em!