SAN FRANCISCO – Utilities in the U.S. Northeast stand to lose as much as half of residential sales by 2030 as customers install solar and battery-storage systems and generate their own power, according to a report by the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Residential and commercial customers who opt for alternatives to traditional, utility-supplied electricity could erode power sales in the region by as much as $34.8 billion, the Snowmass, Colorado-based energy consultant said in the report released Tuesday. Fewer kilowatt-hours sold to customers also will affect utilities’ ability to raise the estimated $2 trillion that needs to be spent to maintain power grids between 2010 and 2030.
A drop in the cost of solar panels and new leasing programs that offer installation with no upfront customer payment has led to a boom in U.S. rooftop systems, which have climbed more than 50 percent annually during the past three years. Utilities in some states have sought added fees from customers who generate their own power, saying the funds will support a grid that users sell excess supply to and rely on when their own systems aren’t available. Full Article