Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip. Utility companies and net metering

Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip is an excellent documentary by the Property Brother about how utility companies are at war against rooftop solar. He installed solar on his Las Vegas house then watched as net metering was killed by utility company machinations, meaning he wouldn’t get paid for electricity generated at his house that went back into the grid.

So, he spent 3 years researching and documenting how utility companies are at war against rooftop solar, and made this excellent documentary, Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip, about it.

First off, this isn’t a left-right issue. One of the major activists in Nevada for rooftop solar is a Tea Party founder. In a sane country, rooftop solar would be seen as a good thing, rather than complete focus on having utility company investments in and profits from coal, oil, and natural gas protected.

He interviewed hundreds of people. In D.C. a neighborhod was able to start community solar, a local grid for many homes. This was much easier for them to do because D.C. isn’t a state, so there were no onerous laws stopping it from happening!

Power companies routinely run highly deceptive ad campaigns to stop rooftop solar propositions, campaigns, and initiatives. In Florida, solar won. In Nevada, it got rolled back. The battle continues in all 50 states.

There are inspiring stories. Navajo Nation designed, built, and implemented their own grid solar. Homes that never had electricity now do.

Rooftop solar everywhere just makes sense. And we are winning, slowly, but steadily. Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip documents this.

Los Angeles Times interview

This reality TV star was mad at Warren Buffett for blocking solar. So he made a movie.

ME: Tell me about your decision to make this film, and why you dedicated so much time to it.

SCOTT: In Vegas, the process of putting solar on my home was pretty easy. The tricky thing was, NV Energy delayed and dragged their heels for months and months, and all they had to do was approve us to flip the switch and turn the system on. And it started to annoy me, because I’m paying these big power bills.

Shortly after they finally approved us, they killed net metering in Nevada. And all of us a sudden, solar companies left the state, and my head sort of spun, and I was like, “What the hell is going on here?” And that’s when I started digging in. I hired a researcher. And we discovered this secret war being waged against rooftop solar.

ME: One thing I enjoyed in your film was how you teased out all the different energy companies that Warren Buffett owns. He’s invested in solar and wind farms, gas pipelines and even railways that move coal. I’m kind of fascinated by that.

SCOTT: Even some of my own friends saw the film and said, “What are you talking about? Warren’s a great guy.”
I was a big fan of Warren and all the stuff he’s done. Then I saw him talking about how net metering is a subsidy. Either he was severely misinformed by the people who work for him who run NV Energy, or he was lying through his teeth.

Available on PBS for subscribers and on iTunes for $4.99 rental