Unbelievable that people are about to be charged for using the sun as energy.
Frankly, I would love to see all of us off the grid and not even use any
electricity from such utility companies and let their profits dry up. There
appears to be a move to monopolize utilities such that the prices will continue
to flow out of the roof and the consumer will be left out in the cold. Enough.
Greed and stupidity is replacing frugality and intelligence.
RM Power's statement by David Taylor is incorrect. RM Power's
position is to collect more money from solar power generators, that equals
imposing higher costs on the solar power generator, that equals a disincentive
to installing solar electric panels. A mouthful of a sentence. But RM
Power's statement was in fact a mouthwash that tried to "splain"
things to us.Solar power generators, i.e. rooftop generators are the best
way to use otherwise wasted space for a public benefit. The public benefit is
pollution free electricity. A less beneficial but still public benefit is
energy independence. Now it's cost beneficial, so c'mon RM
Power, join us and help us instead of impeding us. RM Power and others need to
get on the new bandwagon, they need to find technical solutions to working with
variable outputs of solar (and wind) generators rather than fine them (us).
I've spent my working career in electric power generation, so RM Power
don't try to whitewash me like you did.
As a solar homeowner, my problem with the bill is that it is too nebulous and
unspecific when charging the Public Utilities Commision to determine is such a
fee is really and truly necessary. Specifically, I purport that the bill needs
to include concrete examples of what the "costs" (line 118) AND
"benefits" (line 119) might entail for net metering customers.For example, yes: there are the "interconnection" COSTS of repair,
maintenance, replacement of wires, transformers, poles, etc., to be tied to the
grid. But the BENEFITS are more than mere solar kWh put into the grid, i.e.,
there is also the savings of fuel (coal, natural gas, oil, etc.), as well as the
repair, maintenance, replacement of furnaces, boilers, steam generators, piping,
CO2 scrubbers, and all manner of other equipment only necessary to generate
electricity with fossil fuels, not to mention the crucial benefit of helping to
reverse the deterioration of our air quality.
Ironic comment coming from 'sg' whining so much about this bill. Note
where he is from - the great state of California - a state where attempts to
instill liberal and free flowing renewable policy has virtually crippled the
economy, bringing the state to the brink of bankruptcy. Rocky Mountain Power
isn't anti-renewable, and they deserve to be compensated for the costs they
incur to incorporate solar and other renewable generation sources into their
grid. Many of us are all for renewables - but not all of us can afford them and
the majority of those that do are the wealthy who don't have to worry so
much about the return on their investment.
There are no freebies in life, the solar power crowed will at some point use the
power grid, why wouldn't they be charged for this usage?
This is nothing more than a ruse. Rocky Mountain Power makes money off of those
who put power on the grid through their solar panels. Usually, the most excess
solar power is generated during peak hours and Rocky Mountain Power sells that
power through their complicated distribution lines for far more money than they
paid for it. This is just about greed and them wanting even more money. If Sen.
Bramble was concerned about energy independence for America and Utah, and if he
cared about pollution, he would quit seeing those Rocky Mtn. Power lobbyists and
kill this bill.
They want to charge $5.00 per month, not exactly a lot when you have the
convenience of the grid backing you up on a cloudy day and you haven't had
to pay for batteries. I have a cabin way off the grid with solar only, I would
love the grid being closer and usable.
For years I have been subsidizing RMP through its BlueSky program, because I
thought it was sincerely interested in promoting renewable solar energy. No
more. I will offset the new surcharge by cancelling my BlueSky subscription.
Thank you to the DeNews for writing on this issue. I was at the Committee
meeting today, it was a good meeting and I hope the Senators think long and hard
before passing this bill. There have been many articles written about the costs
of maintaining the grid, etc. They make a good point. But...no one seems to
mention the benefits we and RMP receive from these solar customers such as:
Surplus electricity is given freely back to RMP at no benefit to customers,
electrical infrastructure (mini-power plants) are being built at no cost to the
public (reducing future costs), we all benefit from cleaner air and reduced
emissions, future generations are benefited by conservation of resources. One
last example, at my place of employment we have a 10kW solar system. We consume
well over 90% of the power we generate. Virtually nothing is being sent back to
the grid, how much cost do you think RMP is really incurring from the small
amount of power that we send back to the grid? Also consider that this power is
mostly likely consumed by our neighboring business after traveling through 100
meters of wire.
high school fan makes a good point, and I agree a customer should pay $5.00 to
be connected to the grid, that's more than fair. This is already the case
and more. In reality RMP is proposing to rise the minimum bill for solar
customers from $7/month to $15/month. Because they are proposing to raise the
minimum bill plus add the net metering fee. Seems like a slippery slope to me,
and very damaging to the local solar industry, and advocates of clean energy and
How is it I read about bills where members of the legislature are gunning for
solar/green power AND cars that are efficient? And at the same time are looking
for ways to clean the air? This isn't about real fairness. Anyone has the
opportunity to choose ways to conserve resources and reduce pollution, its more
about being smart vs being not so smart.
If the power company needs money to help carry people who produce clean power
fine, let us raise electricity rates for all. Let's not discourage clean
energy. If we all pay a bit more for clean energy, it will pay dividends in
better health and a more inviting state.Clean / renewable energy is
still small, it merits all of our encouragement.
SB208 wouldn't impose a fee. Rather, it would direct the Utah Public
Service Commission, after appropriate review and public process, to charge a
reasonable fee to net metering customers instead of shifting a portion of their
costs of utility service to other Utah customers. Rocky Mountain Power has
proposed a $4.25 monthly fee, but the amount would be determined by the
commission based on the evidence presented. Also, RMP wouldn't benefit from
implementing a fee. The company is already allowed to recover its prudent costs
of serving customers. SB208 merely clarifies state policy that a subsidy
shouldn't exist where one customer's energy choice negatively affects
another customer's electricity price, as applied to net metering.
The cost shift associated with net metering is still in its infancy in Utah, but
is already causing significant concerns in other states. Now is the best time to
implement appropriate policies. Many benefits of solar energy are
unrelated to the local infrastructure costs a net metering fee would address and
some are overstated. Peak electricity use, for example, generally continues into
the evening hours long after solar production has dropped off. Concerns about
Utah's air quality are also misplaced, as vehicle emissions and other area
sources are the main contributors to the state's air quality problems, not
power generation.Efforts to ensure fair costs among customers
aren't a real threat to solar energy in Utah, especially when we're
talking about a possible monthly fee that's the same cost as buying a
sandwich. With the hundreds or thousands of dollars available in state and
federal tax credits for installing solar panels, that isn't going to be a
deal breaker for most people considering such an investment. RMP
supports solar energy in Utah and is working to increase the renewable energy
options available for our customers in a way that is fair to everyone.
The cost of maintaining the infrastructure will be paid in some fashion. In
fairness, it should be paid by all those using it. I don't know what the
cost is, but it should be shared equally by all. If $5 is the right number,
than it should be assessed. What I don't know is if Bramble can be trusted
to know the amount. What I have seen of him doesn't give me warm fuzzies.
As a for profit company, I have learned not to trust Rocky Mountain Power, but
that is why there is a governing board to approve rates.
There is a cost to being attached to the grid that needs to be honored. If that
is not paid for by those using solar, it is attached to the bill of other
customers of Rocky Mountain, a public utility, or any other for-profit utility.
It is fundamentally unfair to ask other customers to subsidize those using
solar. If, on the other hand, we feel sufficiently strongly about better air,
respiratory health, etc… we can choose as a people to subsidize the use of
solar further through a tax or other means. We subsidize public transportation
in that way.
Unless you're completely off the grid, you should be paying for the use of
the facilities. If you're going to complain about it, disconnect entirely.
Then you'll have a beef if you get charged for something for which you
I agree $5 a month isn't much, but it only the beginning. The proverbial
"Foot in the Door" approach. There will be no end in sight to the future
continuing increases. Don't let it happen!
I do not see a problem with this.The facts are that renewable energy is
not dependable which forces the user to remain connected to the grid.As
taxpayers we've already subsidized many of these homes and businesses with
our tax dollars in order for them to purchase solar panels... It's time to
pay the piper for the handout you got from the taxpayers to enrich democrat
donors.Solar or wind energy are not cost effective.
I own a home with 45 solar panels that generate an average of about 1600 kWh per
month (meeting nearly 100% of my demand). Why did I install the panels?
Simple: Because the incentives were good enough for me to see a return on my
investment. If I didn't see a return (or at least break even) over the
life of the system, I wouldn't have bothered installing the system.I have a large system that can generate more than 10 kW at peak times,
so the power company needed to ensure that the transformer serving my home could
handle that much power. They also have to ensure that I can draw power at
night, on cloudy days, and whenever my demand exceeds my generation capacity.A small fee of $5ish per month seems reasonable as long as the other
incentives remain. The nominal fee would increase the pay-off period, but the
system should still eventually pay for itself. My biggest concern is that this
is just the first of MANY new charges the power company would want to impose in
co-generation sites. Every new fee will decrease the willingness of consumers
to invest in renewable energy.
How is it more fair to charge some people for access to the grid, but not
others?Every electric customer uses power from the grid. Traditional
customers use more; those with solar panels still consume electricity at night.
Customers with solar panels do not cost the electric company any more money;
they simply consume less power. If there is a cost to be connected to the grid,
then it should be paid fairly by everyone connected to the grid.In
reality, what is going on here is clear - the power company is making less
profit from customers with solar panels, and so they are asking the government
to pass a law that will restore some of those profits, by levying an additional
fee to restore their profit.
My experience living in CA. State legislature mandated that PG&E make 20%
(IIRC)of its power production from renewable sources. My panel system is sized
to fill my peak hour needs AND pump an equal or greater quantity of electricity
into the grid. So, I am part of the power company. Initially we received credit
based on the peak hour rates for what we pumped into the grid, offsetting the
power we used when the sun wasn't out. But, even though we paid for our
solar panel system, with a very small one time subsidy from the power company
there were cries of "no-fair" to PG&E 'cause we weren't
paying enough for our off-peek usage. We paid full rates, off peak is lower cost
to everyone.But, legislature passed rate increase for all periods EXCEPT peak
rates. So we get the same credit, but all the off peak rates are higher. BTW, we
pay a $15/month "meter service charge." Cost us OOP $43,000 for the
panels.Pre-panel electricity was ~$6,000/yr. After panels $300/yr. After rate
change, now $2000/yr. Installation payback was 6 yrs, now 20. Con job? CLOSE!
Tesla could power up a city with no wires, free energy from the earth and sky
and free to the people. Natural gas was once free to the people for the cost of
the pipe to the house. There once was a spirit of things that good people gave
good gifts. The principal that we are friends. There was a time.
Utah Voters, please be aware that Senator Bramble is not representing you. He
is carrying out the latest ALEC initiative. In the 2014 annual meeting the ALEC
model legislation "weaken solar net metering policies" was approved by
industry to hand off to the state legislators who will represent the fossil fuel
industry back in their own states. It is amazing how quickly and dutifully
these folks do the bidding of ALEC. ALEC is currently writing all
of Wisconsin's legislation. Trust me, you don't want that for Utah.
This is a prime example of the great lie given to consumers by our utility
companies. Questar Gas, "If you conserve, you can save".It's a lie!
Questar is not going to allow you to save because they need and expect X amount
of revenue every year. If that revenue is decreased then they request a rate
increase. They must make their money so there is no benefit to the consumer at
all.I am not suggesting we not conserve but don't believe any
of the lies the utilities feed to you. Gas, electricity, water, it is all the
same lie. If you conserve we will raise your rates.
It's refreshing to have something actually worth debating and discussing
when it comes to legislation, as opposed the big, obvious stuff that
shouldn't even be debated. We should be working out how to best use our
economic and financial resources, like this, not having to fight to stop what is
evil from silencing what is good.
We need to put this argument into perspective. Rocky mountain power is part of
a multi tiered corporation that goes something like this. Pacific Power is
owned by PacifiCorp which also owns other companies such as Pacific Power and
PacifiCorp Energy. PacifiCorp is owned by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
who is in turn owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Now if you don't know who the
biggest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway is, let me give you a hint. It is
none other than Warren Buffett, the second richest man in America sitting on a
cool 58.5 Billion. Add to this all the executive salaries for each of these
companies and I think you get a better picture of who is going to benefit from
this little rate hike. If you want fair Sen. Bramble maybe you should pass a
bill to cut the rates of all energy users to that of what is being paid by the
typical solar panel user.
@Creeper51Bountiful, UT"There are no freebies in life, the
solar power crowed [sic] will at some point use the power grid, why
wouldn't they be charged for this usage?"They're
already paying a monthly bill for the power that they do use, just like the rest
of us. What the power company wants is for them to pay extra because they also
sometimes contribute their excess electricity back into the power grid for the
rest of us to use. A far fairer system would be a meter that charges customers
for the power they use and then reduces the charge as power is returned into the
system. In other words, if you draw power from the system, you pay for it. If
you contribute power to the system, you get paid for it. People invest a lot of
money in their solar power systems. Why shouldn't they get paid back when
they share what they generate with the rest of us?
There is NOTHING OK with charging some customers (the customers that invested
$10,000 and up for solar arrays) more for service! EVERYONE benefits from their
investment, especially RMP. Solar array owners were promised a certain return on
their substantial investment in clean energy and a beefed up power grid and
should continue to be rewarded at the rate they were promised. Now, after
thousands of citizens have made investements, and many are still paying for
those investments, RMP wants to change the deal. RMP speaks with forked tongue!
But in America, this is getting to be standard corporate policy: Bait and
switch, squeeze the little guy till he bleeds, end-run fairness with law-makers,
etc., etc., etc. It really is disgusting and RMP knows it, but when more money
can be generated with little cost to their infrastructure RMP develops a high
tolerance to disgust. It's not the RIGHT thing to do, but it is the EASY
thing to do. It's enough to make ya sick!
There is only one thing anyone needs to know about this bill. It is sponsored
by Curt Bramble.That should immediately warn us that it needs to be
@sunderland--well said.#1--We already pay a connection fee every
month#2--any additional capacity beyond what we use for the year is GIVEN
to RMP#3--We help to reduce the peak demand of the system overall
especially on sunny days in the summer when A/Cs run most.#4--generation
of power is done closest to where it is used, thus limiting the long-distance
power linesSounds like a bunch of smoke.
@RMPJeff--Regarding your quote: "SB208 merely clarifies state policy that a
subsidy shouldn't exist where one customer's energy choice negatively
affects another customer's electricity price, as applied to net
metering."Hmmm, so does it also include a fee for those that are
NOT generating their own electricity during peak hours? Hmmm, sounds kind of
one-sided to me, no?Let's say Joe runs his A/C all the time to
keep his house at 60 degrees F. Mike, his neighbor, installed solar panels to
help the electricity situation and runs his at 78 degrees F. Is Joe going to be
charged an additional fee besides the already stepped up rates because of his
"energy choice"? If not, why?
The gripe here is that Rocky Mountain Power has set up infrastructure for
everyone to use and thus should be compensated for their work for the state.
The flip side is that the people and corporations have installed their own
mini-infrastructure as well asd are selling power back to RMP and RMP want to
try to make more money off of these people who are not subject to their regional
monopoly.No monopoly please when we have the power within us to be
self-sufficient. Do we really need to pay them for the privilege of not being
"slaves" to their product?
Meanwhile our dear Legislators send out "surveys" asking for permission
to go after wood burning stove users in an effort to clean up the air....How about enforcing current clean air standards - no way is the Refinery
contributing less pollutiion than a handful of wood stoves - and encouraging
solar power? Wouldn't that be more logical?
Perhaps some specifics about my solar array will provide a bit of
perspective.During the last three years my panels have generated
43,030 kWh of electricity. Of those, during the day 13,426 kWh have powered my
home and electric car, and 29,598 kWh have been "donated" to Rocky
Mountain Power's grid. At night, I have pulled back out of the grid 24,097
kWh. In other words, my array has produced 5,501 more kWh than I have used.
Rocky Mountain Power has confiscated those excess kWh and sold them to my
neighbors for pure profit --with nary a "thank you."Now, I
am happy to "donate" my extra kWh to my neighbors, simply to help
improve our air quality with zero-emission, renewable energy. However, it adds
insult to injury for Rocky Mountain Power to want to levy an extra surcharge on
me to pay for their wiring, and then use that wiring to grab my excess kWh for
FREE and sell them to those neighbors. Yet they label me a
"freeloader"?! Pot, meet kettle.
RMP, you have looked over my solar kingdom with it's 7.75 kW of greatness
and now you wish to take possession of the whole of it. I have something to say
concerning this. If this elected official (Sen. Bramble) does not live up to the
oath that he has taken to do what is right for all people, then he will be under
your power. Oh wait, I guess that has already happened. Another example of
political corruption. Sign of the times, friends. What will you charge me for
Every Summer,during periods of peak demand, Rocky Mountain Power spends huge ad
dollars trying to convince citizens to turn over control of their meters to RMP
enabling home electrical to be remotely shut down to ease the burden on the
grid. RMP even offers to pay customers to not consume. Ironically, every citizen
or business who installs solar adds capacity and infrastructure, at great
personal cost, during the periods of highest demand. The fact that solar homes
supplement their power in the night, during non-peak demand periods, requires no
extra bandwidth on the grid. This is just RMP looking for more revenue. A tax
by any other name is still a tax.
Great! (feel free to read sarcasm or not into that) Sounds like an
"impact" tax. I'm thinking of getting solar power...and if there
is an impact tax (creating additional costs to Murray Power/Rocky Mountain
Power) required fine...(please make sure to give me the specifics of what costs
I'm creating that are incremental to my existing use of the grid). Can we
please also now look at an "impact" tax to all the new development out
on the south west end of the Salt Lake valley instead of charging Murray for it?
Also just wondering...can we put solar power on the house AND disconnect from
the grid? Just wondering if we're captured consumers or not.
FYI @RedBlood - this bill originates from Curt Bramble of Provo.
Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo needs to take his money from Rocky Mountain power,
and go back into his 6 million B.C. cave!
I can see many people in Utah can not READ.[reflective of the lowest
spending on Education I guess, but I digress...]Solar Customers
alreday pay $4.25 per month for infrastructure and maintencae of the power
grid.This bill is more than DOUBLING that fee -- which is unfair,
becuase coal using customers are not being assessed an extra $10 a month for
infrastucture and maintenance of the power grid.If Rocky Mountain
Power swould like to breakdown their costs, so we can all see how much of
our money goes toward -- coal, genertors, infrastructure, maintence and
Corporate PROFITS --- I'm game.Otherwise -- I see this as
another ruse to make more money for providing less product.
To "sg" that is wrong. The people are not being charged because they
generate power from the sun. They are being charged to maintain the system they
use to sell power to the open market.To "sunderland56"
actually the power companies don't make money from the power they buy back
from the people with solar panels. They are required to buy the power for the
same price that they can sell it for. That means that they would lose money for
every kWh they buy.To "Bruce A. Frank" and
"Yanquetino" would you have installed the solar panels if your neighbors
hadn't subsidized them? You should thank your neighbors that you can
actually recover your money eventually.To "Open Minded
Mormon" how many customers using coal are also using the power grid to sell
electricity. Last I checked, there were not any home use coal plants. The
people who only buy power and do not sell it are paying for their fair share of
wear and tear on the power grid. The people that sell power to the grid are not
paying for their fair share on the system they use to sell power.
It occurs to me those heating with oil/natural gas are also connected to the
electrical grid and have a diminished use of electricity. Maybe RMP will look at
all those customers and say "why don't we charge these people an extra
fee because they have installed systems that enable them to heat their homes
while paying us less than otherwise would be the case; and it still costs us to
maintain all these power lines even in the case of diminished use?
continued...And while we are at it why don't we charge a fee for
those who go south for the winter because their power use has also diminished?
And there are a group of families who are too poor to pay so they have their
power shut off; why shouldn't we charge them something anyway because we
still have to maintain all that infrastructure whether they have power or
not?"Imagining when this was first proposed: initially, silence
at the boldness of the concept; probably some incipient/indistinct feelings of
disgrace or disfavor. Then it was discussed and "sold" as a new revenue
stream and besides nothing ventured nothing gained...let's go for it. They
might say yes.
Solar with net metering solves a huge problem for Rock Mountain Power in that it
puts power into the grid when it is most needed. This is the same power company
that wants to put its own controller box on my AC unit in order to be able to
turn it off in times of peak demand because they can't meet demand.We don't have enough solar in the state for this to be a huge
concern to RMP, and we never will if the legislature continues to pass nonsense
anti-clean energy bills.Solar is the future and it should be
incentivized, not penalized. All of these people that want energy independence
and more extraction should be happy that consumers are willing to put solar up
and help us all.
For decades, power companies have asked us to conserve energy? So was all the
talk about conserving energy purely propaganda? You do your best to trim the
usage and now they want you to pay for doing exactly what they said they wanted
you to do? NOT RIGHT. More logically, they should use a system that rewards
energy conservation. Many electric companies have a sliding scale where your
rate per unit goes up as your usage goes up. So how can they do both...gouge you
for using too much and gouge you for using too little??? Totally a scam!
Hey Utah Senators! Two-thirds of Utah Voters are concerned about the our
hazardous polluted air. It is an economic problem and which will require
positive action on your part. Considered with SB139... The State
Senate is again proposing that people who attempt to improve our hazardous air
should pay more (property taxes, fees...) for not providing more pollution. These guys have no idea how to assess the economic implications of their
short-sighted and narrow accounting decisions. Not everything has just a
financial cost, this proposal will have a further chilling effect on citizens
attempting to invest in cleaner technology.
Tax credits for corporations building solar panel plants has been approved!! See the article in the Deseret News " Panel approves bill to extend
renewable energy tax credits to solar projects " on February 25th.I hope you all understand what is going on here. One law gives corporations
tax credits for building solar energy facilities, while this bill takes tax
credits away from individuals doing the same but on a smaller scale. Who is
your government representing? The emperor has no cloths. Anyone supporting
this bill based on the hollow arguments presented in these comments or by Sen.
Bramble seem to be to afraid to tell emperor. Are there any children in the
audience who can point out the obvious to all the alleged adults?
Now maybe I am missing something here, but I just looked at my bill and the very
first charge is "Basic Charge--Single Phase $ 5.00"That
does not buy me ANY power--it is only to be connected to the grid.I
am thinking that every RMP customer pays this charge, whether or not they buy
any power. That money should be paying for the infrastructure costs. They
don't need any more infrastructure money. And besides, they already
get an Energy Balancing fee, A Customer Efficiency fee, and a home electric
lifeline fee. This would be just another added profit item for them.Remember back in the mid 70's when Utah Power (Now RMP) had the big push
for people to go ALL-ELECTRIC and the rate would be much cheaper than normal.
When they got lots of people into the program with all electric homes, they
cancelled the program and people were stuck with paying huge power bills because
they were all-electric.I must, however, give thanks to RMP linemen
and repair people who do get our power back on pretty quickly during an outage.