Gowrisankaran Quoted on NPR Regarding Unfair Solar Panel Fees

June 5, 2019
Gatuam Gowrisankaran

Gautam Gowrisankaran, Arizona Public Service Professor of Economics and director of economics graduate studies, is quoted in a June 2 NPR segment discussing unfair solar panel fees. 

The segment explored how Alabama Power, Alabama’s largest utility provider, charges a monthly $5-per-kilowatt solar fee on residential solar panels, angering solar users who expected their panels to help them save money. Alabama has the highest solar panel fees of any state and as a result is 48th in the country for residential solar capacity. 

Gowrisankaran says that Alabama Power is overcharging customers by paying them back far less for generating solar energy than in other states. Furthermore, customers are paying for an extra backup power fee on top of their regular backup power fee. “The bottom line,” Gowrisankaran says in the segment, “is that ultimately they seem to be double counting—double charging essentially for the costs of backup generation.” 

Gowrisankaran’s areas of expertise are industrial organization, health economics, applied econometrics, and energy and environmental economics. He earned his PhD in Economics at Yale University.