I am writing in support of L.D. 1373, “An Act to Protect and Expand Access to Solar Power in Maine.”

The extreme financial hurdles that I have faced as a single parent and homeowner could only be overcome by budgeting and hard work. The biggest variable that I cannot plan for in both my current budget and future budget – when I retire and am on a fixed income – is the cost of heat and electricity.

I believe that investments in solar to power my electric and heating needs is my best bet at being able to plan for continued independence, without having to rely on others or even programs such as LIHEAP to pay my bills.

I am a descendant, on both sides on my family, of farmers from rural Maine. It is from those rural farmers that I was told that Mainers are known for their practical, hardworking and independent approach to life. It is my perception that solar panels without any caps on net metering are a practical solution that crosses ideologies for practical and rural citizens of Maine – the hardworking citizens, often on a fixed income, those who now use the word “freedom” as a political term – as well as for all hardworking, independent Mainers, such as myself.

Solar power usage with net metering is a solution that will allow an abundance of households the freedom from inevitably rising energy costs, freedom from reliance on out-of-state energy sources during peak summer months and, lastly, independence and increased potential for citizens of Maine to live on a fixed income without relying on state and federal dollars to help with utility costs. Freedom, independent and practical – the way life in Maine should be.

Debbie Groff