Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Build on net energy billing

Think globally and act locally. The author of a recent article on solar energy and net-energy billing (Nov. 24 in the BDN, “Maine started a solar power boom that may be a ‘classic climate

mistake’”), people quoted in the article and readers should consider this life-sustaining concept.

Residential and local solar projects are sprouting up all over Maine, supported by the practice of net-energy billing. The article presented a one-sided, negative characterization of net-energy billing, which focused on hypothetical lost revenues to Maine’s utilities. This led to criticism that net-energy billing is so successful it is becoming too expensive for ratepayers, which could impede solar energy adoption.

Whoa. Multiple benefits of distributed solar energy were left out. Reduced peak power costs, energy security, citizen support and additional capital to fund clean energy systems were omitted from a long list of benefits. Further, net-energy billing was conceived as an early-stage practice that would be improved in the future, to jumpstart small-scale solar.

Net-energy billing is working as intended. The proof is showing up on rooftops and on the ground, including closed municipal landfills. As anticipated at the outset, it may be time for net-energy billing to evolve into a more sophisticated, technology-based form to encourage local solar projects.

Critics should focus on practical net-energy billing’s improvements, like time-of-use electricity billing and two-way bill credits and debits reflecting the cost and value of energy throughout the day. This would be better than circulating doomsday stories.

Think globally, act locally. Build constructively on a good thing.

Steven Weems

Executive director

Solar Energy Association of Maine


Unlock everyone’s potential

We don’t choose where we’re born, and in most cases, we don’t choose where we grow up. For so many, these factors determine where we go to school and how we learn. This has a big impact on our futures.

With all of that being said, that isn’t always true. We don’t have to be confined to one path when there is so much room to change the trajectory of our futures. The best possible means to make this change a reality is school choice.

I started out in a brick-and-mortar school system because that’s what I was assigned to. But it simply wasn’t working for me, as I found myself detached from the repetitive nature of the whole routine. Luckily, I found an option that completely changed the way I felt about learning: online school with Maine Virtual Academy.

Having control over my learning path provided me with balance in my life, as I was able to keep part-time jobs while excelling in my classes. I’m grateful for my ability to choose online school and can say with confidence that it’s positively impacted my career path, as I now look to complete my education at Northeastern University.

We need to protect school choice. Not everybody can conform to their first option and it can’t be the only one. Don’t let students be restricted by their ZIP code. Let’s unlock everyone’s potential to learn.

Emily Dupler


A health care suggestion

I have a suggestion to all hospitals in the state:

Historically, since the beginning of COVID-19, the medical community has known that younger folks tend to be affected less harshly by this virus. Why not do more to protect the more experienced staff, by offering a monetary incentive to the younger nurses, to volunteer for the front lines, in the war against COVID-19.

David Betts