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Friday, February 14, 2014

Shine a light on energy freedom

An opinion piece by Matt Neumann published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday, February 14, 2014

An especially cold Wisconsin winter like this one might get you thinking about how you keep your home warm and bright — especially when storms knock down power lines and shortages triple propane prices.

But if your thoughts turn to generating some of your power on your own property, your efforts at self-reliance might be derailed by Wisconsin law. It's not clear if property owners in Wisconsin are allowed to pursue some of the energy options available to Americans in dozens of other states. It's a strange way to limit liberty, and it should change.

Right now, Wisconsin law does not clearly permit third-party ownership of solar panels — an arrangement homeowners and business people in other states are using to generate power right at home, often with no up-front cost. And Wisconsin's restrictions on net metering — which limit your right to sell power you generate back into the grid — are keeping larger businesses and institutions such as hospitals and universities from taking advantage of money-saving energy options that companies and organizations in other states are using to generate their own power, save money and help the environment.

Read the rest of Matt Neumann's opinion...

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