Dear Editor,

Well. Well. Well. Please tell us it just ain’t so.

Just when we have done our good citizen duty to stop global warming …

Just when we have done our good citizen duty and installed solar panels on our roof …

Just when we are patting our good citizen selves on the back knowing we are depending on the sun, instead of coal, oil and gas for electricity …

Bam. Down comes the hammer: A brand new “residential solar penalty” for all Bowling Green residents who have installed solar panels.

Starting in July, anyone in Bowling Green who gets electricity from solar panels on their roof will now be fined an extra $4 per kilowatt hour, for “grid costs.” This will be increased, as needed.

This from a city than prides itself on having the largest city-owned solar field in the state and wind turbines?

Looks like it is so. Our utilities department, having concocted an amazing, labyrinthian maze of “reasons” for its action, has levied this penalty upon us.

The utility department’s labyrinthian reasons range far and wide, but basically involve a 50-year investment in a failed Illinois coal plant and a 50-year Bowling Green contract with AMP (the American Municipal Power group) to buy coal-produced electricity.

The Bowling Green contract with AMP partially paid for building a coal plant in Illinois, including its upkeep, whether it fails or not, for 50 years.

Bowling Green now defrays its large, debt-servicing costs for the failed Illinois coal plant by quietly upping residents’ electric rates at every opportunity.

And there is some kind of convoluted reasoning to ensure that residents who don’t have solar panels are not paying, in some arcane, electricity-grid way, for residents who do have solar panels. This is following the advice of a highly-paid, out of town “electricity consultant” who is, unbelievably, affiliated with AMP.

How can our Bowling Green officials allow such a “fox guarding the henhouse” situation to exist?

What are we missing here? Surely any fool can see that residents who install costly, climate-saving systems (wind, solar, hydro, geothermal; anything but oil, coal and gas) should be rewarded, praised and given reduced utility rates.

They should not be punished.

Sally Medbourn Mott

Bowling Green