I appreciate your sentiments Lauren but your letter left me uninformed, or
should I say uneducated, about what you seem to be saying is an important and
unfair situation. As a native of the western United States with plans to retire
there in the very near future I am very interested in utility costs and saving
energy. I wonder if you, or someone else, could explain how Rocky Mountain
power is singling out customers who are trying to reduce energy costs and what
it is you have done to save energy and how is Rocky Mountain Power specifically
punishing you for your efforts. I'm not being condescending, I
am just genuinely interested.
I am sorry, but I feel the charge to be just. Unless you are cutting off your
connection to their network, you incur cost to the utility. Even if you are not
pulling power off the grid, the utility needs to maintain the infrastructure to
provide power to you regardless of the amount you consume. The cost of the line
running from your house to the pole, and then to the transformer has to be
covered somehow. In most cases the utility absorbs that cost and amortizes over
the life of that connection. Your conservation doesn't make that incurred
cost go away. The utility could clear this up by restructuring
their billing to include a connection fee, and then a utilization fee. But for
right now, the cost of that connection is buried in the usage fees. But until
they restructure how they bill, if you are connected to the network, be prepared
to pay for that connection. I say this as someone who fully
supports solar. The only way solar is going to work is if it can coexist
economically with other sources of energy.
Agreed, this is ridiculous...It's like charging resturant
customers more for eating less, adding $1 for NOT Supersizing, adding .10 a gallon for those driving hybrids, and adding a surcharge
for airline passengers NOT checking in luggage.Ridiculous I say!...
It may seem ridiculous, but it's nothing new (especially with utility
monopolies).Remember a few years back when we were encouraged to
conserve water in Utah... we did better than anybody expected, and the water
utilities complained that they were loosing revenue because everybody cut back
too much on using their product... so they had to raise prices so they could
If you cut the cable to Rocky Mountain... you own them nothing. As long as that
cable is attached to their network, you are costing them money.The
restaurant analogy is perfect. You come it, want to sit at a table, and not
order anything... they are not going to allow that. You want to come in, share
a meal with someone else, they are going to charge you for the second plate.
You have inured them extra expense even if you just ordered on thing to share.
You are also using their chair, their table, their air conditioning, and they
are paying the mortgage on the building.So you don't want to
pay Rocky Mountain anything, don't do business with them. Don't
expect them to provide you back up standby power at no cost to you. That
infrastructure and capability cost them money.I love how everyone
wants stuff for free.
re: LDS Tree-Hugger"Agreed, this is ridiculous... It's
like...adding $1 for NOT Supersizing"Oh, goody. you have just
given Mickey D's their next *big* (pun intended?) idea.to 2
bitsWasn't this the same yr they were still watering golf
courses EVERY day?
Does no one else see the irony of spending many thousands of dollars to be green
and save money on power in the future and then complaining loudly about a charge
of $4.50 a month ($54 a year)? My power bill is over $120 a month on equal
pay. Get a sense of proportion.
Mister J,The point I was making is... the Utility company charging
you more, because you used less...===When we
collectively cut back and use less... it cuts into their revenue... so they
raise prices.So don't expect cutting back and using less, to
mean you pay less.If too many people do it... they will just raise
to 2 bitsI decided to unilaterally be snarky about the hypocrisy of
who has to conserve and who the chosen ones (Animal Farm anyone?) are.
The power company doesn't like competition. Instead of rewarding customers
who feed the power company electricity, they want to punish those customers.
The power company benefits from that excess power generation. The power company
doesn't have to burn coal to generate it. What the power company wants is
to forbid competition. They want to be the only generator of power. They think
that being a "government allowed" monopoly, that they should be the only
source of power.I disagree. the power company benefits from that
excess power. Not only should they NOT charge a connection fee, they should PAY
a fee to access that power. Sure, they pay a minimal amount for the power
produced, but if they think they can separate the cost of electricity from the
cost of supplying that electricity, the power company should PAY for the
privilege of connecting to suppliers.
Folks.. "Not only should they NOT charge a connection fee, they
should PAY a fee to access that power...." This just
exemplifies how little is known about how the system works. Under Net Metering
in most locals, the utility doesn't buy the consumer generated power back
at wholesale rates, but pays the same as the meter rate is the consumer pays
when they consume power. The Utilities are paying full retail prices... so when
they resell that power to someone else, they do so at break even or more often
at a loss. Many of the current billing schemes were not designed to
support a network where you have consumers both generating and consuming power.
And yes, there are many cases of volume based pricing where the less
you consume, the higher the unit price is - because there are fixed cost woven
into the cost structure that need to be recovered. Whether you use a lot, or a
little, plants, transformers, transmission stations and lines... they all need
to be paid for.
RMP has bought off too many of our legislators with their abundant free speech.
Our repub Legislators love free speech. It's the reason why they went into
government.There are even some who preach "that you can buy
anything in this world with free speech!"Are we willing to sell
anything for free speech? Our environment? Our health? Our well being? We should all demand to break up the RMP monopoly. We the people must rise up
because our repub legislature certainly won't.
re: UtahBlueDevil,Okay, why not break the bill down into component
parts? Why not require Rocky Mountain Power to bill separately for the lines
going to the home and power used by the home? Charging one customer for a
connection, when that customer uses or might use power and not charging another
customer who has shutoff his power for an extended absence is discrimination.
Either everyone has to pay the fee and the fee has to be billed separate from
the power used or nobody has to pay a fee for connection.Would you
like to pay a "dispensing fee" of some sort if you only need to buy one
cup of gas for your hi-bred vehicle per "fill up"? After all, gas
stations are there to make money. Why shouldn't they charge a dispensing
fee separate from the fee for fuel?
@Maverick,Re "We should all demand to break up the RMP
monopoly"...That's just silly.Have you really
thought about what you are suggesting?Imagine the expense and
disruption required to have 2 (or 3) sets of gas lines going to each house? And
several company's electric wires going to each house? And different water
lines for different water companies?That's absurd!===We grant a monopoly to these companies willingly. But in
exchange for that... we limit them. They can't raise their rates without
approval from our representatives.It's not really a
"monopoly"... they can't crank up the rates, because WE control the
rates (they have to be approved by the public utilities commission).So it's not a true "monopoly" (where they charge anything they
want). They have to make their case to the public utilities commission... and
if it makes sense they say "yes". If it doesn't make sense then
they say "no".State public utility commissions regulates:prices charged to retail customersstandards to ensure safety and
reliability of productboundaries of service areabookkeeping
methodsmatters relating to financial reorganizationproposed
purchases, sales or change in status of propertycompany mergers
Not wild about the extra fee, but I understand the reasoning.I think
one way to reduce consumption is to do an energy audit of your home. Seriously
review what appliances are phantom users of power, get serious about turning off
lights, appliances and limiting use. Try scheduling change outs of incandescent
to LED over a planned time-table.Ceiling fans help reduce A/C costs,
awnings, shades. Heavens (I was going to use the antithesis word but it
wouldn't pass the editor) our grandparents lived here and used a lot less
energy, so can we if we use our heads.Oh, books educate and
entertain and use less power that Big Screen TV, but I digress.
"We grant a monopoly to these companies willingly. But in exchange for
that... we limit them. They can't raise their rates without approval from
our representatives."Exactly. And what happens when our reps are
in bed with this monopoly?What's wrong with breaking up RMP?
Why not privatize it? What's wrong with a lil but of competition?I'm personally getting tired of people like 2 bits acting like more
government bloat and monopoly is the answer to everything. Break up RMP,
privatize it, and let companies compete for our energy needs!
Miek... your being silly. Power is a regulated industry that provides its
services by charter from the local municipalities. They have fixed cost
providing service to your house. Your establishment you use that might have a
"dispensing fee" does not have a fixed cost to serve you. You
don't have a contracted service. They don't have to have a cup with
your name on it, with a service SLA that will deliver drinks to your house 24/7,
365 days a year. You establishment isn't compelled to rrestore your
drinks should a storm come along and nock out your cup. It's so not the
same.... my head is spinning.Your cell phone... There is a
connection monthly fee to be connected to their network regardless if you use
your phone.. And of course they give discounts for volume. And they
aren't even a monopoly. They have an infrastructure cost to carry you.
There is a connection fee built into those units. Land phone line... you got a
monthly bill if you used your phone on not.
If you don't like the fee, don't pay it. Disconnect. Buy enough
batteries and solar panels to get through the night without relying on RMP and a
generator for the cloudy days.Like it or not there are
administrative costs associated with the two-way power connection that are not
incurred when servicing one-way customers. Those costs should not be paid by the
rest of us.And no, I don't work for RMP.
Being a monopoly is great for RMP, especially if it can influence regulators and
legislator into thinking energy is a "free market" -- which it
isn't, but our regulators act on the belief of "markets over
mandates," and often refrain from directing RMP to act in the public
interest.Some facts about RMP's monopoly status: One, RMP owns
many coal-fired power plants that solar is now replacing. This threatens its
investments. Two, with carbon taxes coming down the pike and
Utah's slow adoption of renewable energy, Utahns will be hit hard on those
costs in the coming decade. As a monopoly, RMP will be able to simply pass
those costs onto ratepayers. Sadly, because ratepayers have no choice in a
monopoly market and can't push RMP to move into clean, non-carbon sources,
ratepayers will be left paying the bill. Three, RMP charges MORE
for renewable energy in its Blue Sky program, even when renewable energy is
cheaper than fossil fuel rates-- giving rate payers the false price signal that
renewable energy is always MORE expensive, when it isn't. Ah,
the joys of monopoly!
What rubs me the wrong way about RMP's request for more $ is the fact that
every year they donate a lot of $ to various organizations. I'm not against
charity, as I give $ to organizations that I believe in. What
I'm against is a monopoly (RMP) demanding more and more from my pocket and
then donating it to organizations that I may or may not support. If i want to
support an organization then I will consciously choose to do so. It really just
doesn't seem right for an organization, granted a monopoly by government,
to be charging such excess rates as to be able to throw wheelbarrows full of
cash at organizations of their choice. If anything RMP should be
forced to pay for clean energy as it reduces their environmental impact (aka
carbon emissions and other pollutants). Collectively we should be very concerned
about the terrible health impacts caused by coal power plants. They should be
incentivized/prodded to reduce their environmental and health impacts.