Governor Sununu recently vetoed HB 365, which raises the Solar-Subsidy Tax. Here is part of his veto-message:
I probably disagree with Sununu more often than I agree with him. But he is absolutely right about HB 365. Here is a pithy summary of how the subsidy -which is euphemistically called “net metering”- works:
Forty-three states have mandatory net metering plans. Most net metering plans in the United States require utility companies to buy back excess electricity generated from distributed (residential and business) solar installations at the retail cost of electricity.
With the slightest bit of thought you will recognize that this is not a valid business model. No business can cover the cost of operation and profit necessary while buying their product at the same price that they sell it. In the case of utility companies, they must provide billing, support services, grid maintenance and other operational functions. For the amount of electricity provided by net metering, these costs are not covered. Typically, unrecovered costs are transferred to customers who do not have solar installations by raising electricity rates.
To elaborate: Solar is not practical as a stand-alone source of electricity: cloudy days, nighttime. At those times, the solar-user needs to get electricity from the grid.
At other times, solar may generate “excess electricity.” Net metering forces the utility to “buy” this electricity from the solar-user. The solar-user gets a credit against his bill for the “excess electricity” the utility must “buy.” BUT THE CREDIT IS AT THE RETAIL RATE, NOT THE WHOLESALE RATE.
This means that solar-users pay LESS THAN RETAIL RATES for the electricity they take from the grid. As the article above notes, somebody has to pay the costs that the solar-users are exempted from. Those costs are passed on to rate-payers who do not have solar.
In other words, NET METERING is a HIDDEN TAX. I call it the SOLAR-SUBSIDY TAX.
HB 365 is a massive expansion of the current Solar-Subsidy Tax because it raises the size limit on net metering projects in New Hampshire from 1 megawatt to 5 megawatts. So the middle and working class ratepayers who already are subsidizing the more affluent individuals who buy solar will have to pay an even higher SOLAR-SUBSIDY TAX to subsidize businesses and local government. SHAMEFUL.
The State Senate passed HB 365 unanimously. Thanks for nothing, you less than useless herd of RINOs.
The House was not quite as bad as the Senate, but still very bad. There HB 365 passed by a vote of 254-98. Here is the link to the vote (you may have to initiate a new search for HB 365) if you want to see which GOP State Reps voted to raise the SOLAR-SUBSIDY TAX.
The Senate RINOs are a lost cause. But perhaps if enough people call the GOP Reps who voted to raise the Solar-Subsidy Tax and tell them to SUSTAIN THE VETO we can prevent this tax increase.