Solar Reimbursement Changes – Los Alamos Reporter – Los Alamos Reporter

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White Rock

My husband and I installed solar panels approximately 6 years ago on our home in White Rock. At the time we signed a contract with the Los Alamos County stating the specifics of how the solar would be reimbursed to us each month.  We installed our panels with a large out-of-pocket cost, which we are still paying off, with the understanding that we would be investing for the future and benefiting the environment by producing green electricity and also receiving a monthly credit on our utility bill, thus keeping down utility costs. 

We would not have made this investment had we known that a few years down the road, the reimbursement would be reduced by approximately a third, while at the same time our retail rates that we pay for electricity continue to rise, with a proposed rate increase of about 9.4% this year alone. Our rates have risen every year since 1998, which was part of our incentive for purchasing the solar panels.

The proposed rule change will not only penalize us as homeowners who have already invested in this technology but it may de-incentivize new homeowners from installing solar panels. This goes directly against the county’s own stated goals of becoming carbon neutral and producing cleaner energy for the county of Los Alamos.

Robert Gibson’s article published March 28, 2024 in the Los Alamos Reporter ( states that the county has recently inked a 20-year deal to purchase solar power from a large photovoltaic field and battery bank to be built outside of Farmington. Why would the county purchase large amounts of solar from elsewhere if it cannot afford to purchase solar from its own residents at already agreed upon conditions? Why would the county encourage residents to become more green, and then pull the rug out from under them by them by lowering rates after they have made the financial investment? The terms of the contract that we signed with the county are being negated by this proposed rate change. If you are a resident of the county who owns solar panels or is considering installing them I urge you to attend Wednesday’s meeting and make your concerns heard.

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