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.