Rocky Mountain Power proposed three new fees on rooftop solar customers last fall, which would result in some of highest solar fees proposed by any utility in the country. The proposed charges are disincentives for rooftop solar at the very least and could put an end to the growth of rooftop systems in Utah — reducing our energy choices and freedom to produce our own electricity. That’s exactly what happened in Nevada in 2015 when net metering rates priced solar rooftop out of the market, all but killing the industry and resulting in loss of jobs and great public outcry. The Nevada state legislature is now working to amend the net metering situation through a bill this legislative session.
Rocky Mountain Power filed its fee request with the Public Service Commission, an appointed panel which regulates the utility. The process to decide whether the utility will get to impose fees and strangle rooftop solar is entering the homestretch, with a final decision expected this summer or fall.
Solar advocates will be filing a new study on the economic and environmental benefits of solar with the PSC next week. Let’s bolster their efforts. NOW is the time to let the Public Service Commission and Governor Herbert know that Rocky Mountain Power’s proposed new fees are in unnecessary and harmful and that their rationale for raising rates on rooftop solar customers is unfounded. Rooftop solar offers significant economic and environmental benefits to all of us and should be encouraged, not discouraged.
CALL TO ACTION
- Contact the Public Service Commission and Governor Herbert to oppose these fees and voice your concern for the future of rooftop solar in Utah. Reference “Docket 14-035-114: Rooftop Solar PSC Docket”
- The utility has not proven that rooftop solar customers burden other ratepayers or the system with significant costs that merit the proposed fees
- Rocky Mountain Power’s Cost of Service study dramatically over estimates the cost of servicing rooftop solar customers while underestimating the benefits solar provides to the grid and other ratepayers.
- Almost 60% of the “costs” in Rocky Mountain Powers study are actually lost revenue for the utility, rather than actual engineering and maintenance costs. It is not appropriate that the utility seeks to force solar customers to fill its shareholders’ pockets.
- The utility has failed to fully account many of the grid benefits which rooftop solar provides, such as transmission upgrades, deferred capital costs and avoided environmental compliance costs.
- Rooftop solar is not a “cost” for the grid, but a valuable resource and should be treated as such.