Alabama Power fees on solar challenged

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FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 file photo, sunlight reflects off solar panels on the roof of the older part of the Alabama Power building in Birmingham, Ala. Environmental groups and homeowners are challenging a fee charged by Alabama Power on customers who use solar panels to generate part of their electricity. The Alabama Public Service Commission will hold a Nov. 21 hearing on the issue. (Bernard Troncale/The Birmingham News via AP)

October 02 2021 06:00 pm

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Environmental groups are challenging Alabama Power’s backup capacity fee on customers who use solar panels to produce part of their home electricity.

The Alabama Public Service Commission held a Thursday hearing on the petition to abolish the fee.

The petition argues the $5 per kilowatt fee, which amounts to $25 monthly for an average solar array, is unreasonable and discourages people from using solar power.

Alabama Power contended the fee is needed to cover the cost of providing backup power when the panels don’t provide enough energy. Alabama Power is asking to increase the charge to $5.41.

The two-hour hearing grew testy at times. Solar energy proponents packed the meeting, and a few were ejected for recording the proceeding with their phones. The PSC contended that recording was not allowed.


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