On August 16, 2016, in the doldrums of the summer, Belco informed the Energy Commission that it has ended its eight-year “pilot” and would no longer allow “net-metering” for people who install rooftop solar power.
This proposal is not only a direct contradiction of the stated renewable energy aims of the Department of Energy, the Bermuda Government (via the recently passed Electricity Act) and Belco itself, but is also bad for all Bermuda residents.
According to Belco, they are simply ending “a subsidy … that compensates residential customers who feed excess renewable energy to Belco’s grid at the same retail rate that customers pay for power purchased from Belco, without the expense of the fixed costs associated with generation, transmission and distribution” (my emphasis). In other words, they are making the cost of electricity more fair.
This proposal is bad for Bermuda, because it has the potential to severely damage the domestic solar power industry in Bermuda, which would significantly reduce our options for renewable energy; it will also very likely result in escalating power bills for all residents.