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Thanks, Rep. Daniel! 
With your help it passed - June 2003

May 30, 2001
Representative William Daniel
3753 Perkins Rd.
Baton Rouge, LA  70808

Dear William,
It was good to talk to you this past week about solar energy.  I wanted to get your help in correcting a problem with the laws in the State of Louisiana right now.  Since you are on the natural resources committee, you may be able to assist me or put me in touch with the best people that can help correct the problem.

The problem is Louisiana does not allow its residents to install small, grid-connected renewable energy systems to reduce their electric bills using Net Metering.  Under Net Metering, electricity produced by renewable energy systems can flow into the utility grid.  In Louisiana, the primary source of renewable energy would be solar.  Rather than selling electricity back to the utility company at a wholesale rate, Net Metering allows the consumer to use any excess electricity produced to offset electricity used at other times during the billing period. 

Net Metering is important because many residential customers are not home using electricity during the day when their renewable systems are producing power.  If they could Net Meter, it would reduce system costs, as expensive battery storage systems are not required. It also provides an easily administered mechanism for encouraging the use of renewable energy systems in the state.

Utilities benefit by avoiding the administrative and accounting costs of metering and purchasing small amounts of electricity from their customers.  The cost associated with Net Metering to the utility company is only the reduction of electricity purchased which is comparable to the consumer purchasing energy efficient appliances.  The standard kilowatt-hour meter accurately registers the flow of electricity in either direction so it is ready to work in a Net Metering system.

There have been considerable advances in technology with grid-tie inverters in the last decade.  Most new inverters comply with all nationally recognized codes and standards.  These systems are operating safely in every state in the nation and include all the protective circuits to synchronize with the utility grid and isolation when the grid experiences an outage.
Currently, 30 states have Net Metering laws and several more have pending legislation.  I would like Louisiana to join with the majority of the country and allow Net Metering.  Think of the positive press this would give the state!  I can provide Senate or House bill numbers for proposed or current programs in other states if it would help.  We would not be re-inventing the wheel here.  What can you do to help? 

I am currently organizing a group of individuals across the state known as the “Louisiana Solar Energy Society”.  We will become a chapter of the American Solar Energy Society.  Our goal is to promote solar and other renewable energy in Louisiana.  We will partner with other groups with similar goals.  Please check out our current website which is hosted at www.lses.org. 

I would love to discuss this further and I would invite you to join our society and help us correct this problem with current law.  I hope it is not too late this session.
 

Sincerely,

Jeff Shaw

 

 
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