Net metering is the best thing since sliced bread for Mainers. Net metering allows small producers of electrical energy to spread out the impact of their production for Maine’s power grid over a full year.

People with photovoltaic panels can produce a lot of electricity in the summer but less in the winter, when generation is more difficult. With net metering, this annual production is evened out for the year and is reflected on our monthly power bill.

As a state, we export about $5 billion a year to other countries, states and companies with our use of fossil fuels. Solar energy is one way to keep some of that money in the state over the long term.

For every kilowatt my solar panels silently produce, a few pennies are not flowing out of our state. Ten years from now, those pennies will have paid for the installation and purchase of my panels. With a life span of 25 to 30 years, those panels will continue to greatly reduce my Central Maine Power bill.

About 10 years ago, we installed a solar hot water system that brought our electricity cost down a lot. Three years ago, we had 16 solar panels installed and my electricity bill fell to about $8 per month (now $11) in the summertime.

This minimum infrastructure charge to CMP keeps up the grid. No one in Maine can escape this charge.

I hate debt, so we saved up to make these investments. A month ago, we invested in a split air heat pump. For us, our photovoltaic investment has been and remains positive financially.

Investing in solar energy is good for the consumer, good for the state, good for the country and good for the planet. What’s not to like?

Richard Klain


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