Tell the PSC: no new fees on solar!

A new proposed PSC rule would open the door to utilities charging higher fees for the interconnection of solar systems—even for small residential installations. This could slow the growth of rooftop solar in our state.

Over the past few years, Maryland’s Public Service Commission (PSC) has worked to review the process by which we generate and receive electricity in the PC 44 proceeding. One key question under review is how standards for the interconnection of solar systems to the broader electric grid should be updated as solar generation increases throughout the state.

We need your help to tell the PSC: No new fees on solar! Will you stand up for solar and join us?

The PSC is now accepting comments on the new proposed rule. Here are three ways you can make your voice heard.

1) Sign our petition to the PSC opposing the new proposed rules on interconnection fees. Please sign by Tuesday, August 28, so we have time to compile and deliver the signatures to the PSC. In addition to signing the petition, you can leave your unique comments about why you oppose high fees on new residential solar systems, which we’ll share directly with the PSC. It’s vital for the PSC to hear the unique voices of existing solar homeowners and solar supporters before making their decision on the matter!

2) Attend the PSC rule making session on Wednesday, September 5 to show your support for rooftop solar! RSVP today by emailing MDteam@solarunitedneighbors.org and we will contact you before the meeting to coordinate. Here are the full meeting details:

PSC Rule Making Session

Wednesday, September 5 at 1:30 pm
William Donald Schaefer Tower
Frank O. Heintz Hearing Room, 16th floor
6 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Email MDteam@solarunitedneighbors.org to RSVP

3) Help us spread the word by sharing our petition with your family, friends, and other solar supporters in Maryland. Working together, we can fight back against unfair higher fees for future solar homeowners!

Full petition text

I am proud to join Solar United Neighbors of Maryland in standing up for solar rights by supporting low, fair, and standard interconnection fees across all utilities. I urge the Public Service Commission (PSC) to support low, fair, and standard interconnection fees in the updated interconnection rules.

Current regulations allow the utilities to charge interconnection fees for systems between 10 kw and 10 MW but not for systems less than 10 kW. The new regulation will allow utilities to charge interconnection fees to all systems no matter the size. The PSC is expecting the fees to be between $100-$200, however the proposed rule change does not cap the fee in any way. In 2017 there were 11,128 solar systems that required an interconnection that were under 10 kW. Systems smaller than 10 kW are typically residential systems. In surrounding jurisdictions in D.C. and Virginia, smaller projects aren’t even charged at all for interconnection.

This fee sends the wrong signal to Maryland homeowners who want to save money on their electric bills and help the state reach its renewable energy goals. It also increases overhead costs, especially for smaller systems like those found in urban residential areas. I urge the PSC to put the citizens of Maryland and their investments in solar first.

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