An energy storage program manager from the U.S. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is trying out a novel argument against distributed generation and storage, claiming that new, behind-the-meter technologies impose an unfair burden on poorer households that can’t afford to install them.
“Wealthier and better-informed consumers are using distributed solar and behind the meter storage to do what they have been trying to do for years with other technologies: use electricity more efficiently and reduce their energy costs,” Greenberger acknowledges. But the bigger issue is that distributed generation “really does pose a long-term existential threat to the centralized electric utilities that have historically provided much of EPRI’s support. That some of these utilities might react to that threat in whole or in part by using ‘rich vs. poor’ political demagoguery in order to obstruct the deployment of new energy technologies is not a surprise. It’s just that I thought we had about 10 years before we had to fight that battle.”