January 5, 2015

NPR: Utilities Fight For Revenue Lost To Solar Power

Print More

Employees with Namaste Solar install mounting brackets for a new rooftop system in Boulder, Colorado.

National Public Radio aired a story during the most recent Weekend Edition Saturday which was co-reported between KQED reporter Lauren Sommer, and our own Dan Boyce. The story discussed how residential solar power could have a disruptive impact on utilities, and some of them are fighting back.  As SolarCity’s Sanjay Ranchod puts it, “For acompany that has depended on a monopoly, competition from SolarCity or any other solar company is scary.” The story combined elements of an earlier story produced by Sommer with the second part of our Solar Challenge series from last year.

  • Dan Boyce

    Hi rj_oregon,

    I’m one of the reporters who worked on this story. Thank you for providing such a well thought-out response to our piece. It is rare that a listener takes so much of their time to write out a sincere comment, and we don’t take that for granted.

    In general, I would say that Lauren and I tried to distill a very complicated topic into just a few minutes of radio. In doing so, we inevitably had to leave out some of the nuance behind the financing options and arrangements people have with their utilities and solar power providers.

    We did a whole series about solar power last year that talks more about some of your concerns:


    That being said, a few of the points you bring up are quite valid and worthy of further research, particularly your question about how utilities already pay for infrastructure within the charges for bringing a line to your house, etc. Also, the question about how much utilities pay net-metered customers is a good one. I’ll be looking into these questions more and it could inform one of my story choices coming up. Thanks for the ideas!

    Finally, since you were generous with your time this go-around, we’d love to hear more of your insight for our coverage going forward. Please join our “insider” network, where you can get our newsletter, invitations to IE events and more!


    Thanks again for reaching out!