Your Feb. 17 article, “As solar power grows in Maine, so does tension over its future shape and direction,” covered the field but missed a few key points.

An important correction is that all ratepayers benefit from solar net metering. Here’s how.

My wife and I installed solar panels at our own considerable expense. Excess power from our solar investment is sent back to the grid for anyone else to use. That allows utilities to defer spending on grid upgrades, which everyone would pay for.

If Central Maine Power doesn’t take the excess local energy from those of us with solar panels, they buy energy elsewhere. For instance, energy purchased from the backup power station at Cousins Island in Yarmouth costs more (usually almost double) to CMP – and thus to all of us – than rooftop solar power. What’s more, it produces carbon dioxide, which damages our atmosphere.

In fact, my solar array, and thousands more like it throughout New England, are together already reducing the need for new power plants, according to ISO New England, the grid operator. This means that our private solar system is already saving you money. However, as CMP has acknowledged, it is eating into their Wall Street investors’ profits. CMP would rather build and profit from their own solar network.

What my wife and I are part of is a classic public-private partnership. It is not fair for CMP, the Public Utilities Commission and lawmakers to deprive individual investors of reasonable compensation for investments made in solar, especially when these investments also benefit everyone connected to the grid, and the climate.

It’s time for our lawmakers to stand up for net metering.

Peter Garrett