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solar panels

Michigan Radio

Until recently, if a home solar array produced more electricity than the house used, it would go through the meter onto the grid. Residents with solar power arrays got paid for that power at the same rate as the power company charged other residents.  Power that comes in/power that goes out: same price. This even exchange is called net metering.

solar panels on roof of home
pixabay

Advocates for solar energy are calling for a change in state law, after the Michigan Tax Tribunal sided with the city of Ann Arbor in a dispute over the value of solar panels.

The city increased a couple's property tax assessment by more than $5,500 after they installed solar panels on the roof of their home.

Becky Stanfield is with Vote Solar. She says taxing someone for putting in solar panels is like taxing them for buying a more energy-efficient refrigerator or other appliance.

Courtesy of Wolfgang Bauer

The Next Idea

Think about a hot August day. Your car has been sitting out in a parking lot for hours and hours. Think of how hot it is when you get back inside and touch that steering wheel.

What if you could take all of that solar energy and use it for something besides burning your hands?

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Arbor Arbor residents with deep front yards may soon be permitted to put solar arrays in them.  

The city's planning manager, Brett Lenart, says some people think ground-mounted solar panels are unsightly -- but others welcome them as a sign of environmental progress.

So the planning commission aimed to strike a balance when developing recommendations for an ordinance.

People with enough room in the front yard for solar panels will have to hide the back and sides with hedges or fences if that's what the public would see.