MECO unwilling to work with public on PV systems

For the past four-plus months, I have been trying to get a photovoltaic system installed. But due to Maui Electric Co.’s lack of concern and willingness to work with the public, I am still unable to have a system installed.

MECO’s reason is that the county is saturated and it is unable to have any more electricity powered by PV systems until it is able to upgrade its system.

Now MECO is attempting to pass this along by charging an extra fee for the installation, which could cost the customer $3,000 or more, depending on how the study goes. To me, this is a form of extortion. A person could be looking at up to $30,000 for installation, then add another $3,000. There are more than 100 net metering agreements at MECO right now and they have not gotten any response as to what is going on. This is unfair and some people will not be able to have a PV system installed. Then there is the problem of what happens to the solar company and the people working there – they could or have gone out of business.

So, what next? This has to stop. We are trying to reduce dependency on fossil fuels but yet MECO is not willing to work with the public.

What we will see start to happen is people saying this is enough and going off the grid. MECO will start losing more business, and then where will it be?

Paul Oertel