Comments about ‘Rocky Mountain Power wants net metering customers to pay 'fair share'’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7 2014 4:45 p.m. MST

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Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

You try and conserve and Big Business wants to charge you for being part of the solution, greed at it's best.
How about we charge CA for burning their fossil fuels in Utah for their power?
Who paid for those dams that generate electricity in Utah?

Riverton, UT

"The utility claims that under current state regulations, the company is required to credit customers for excess generation at the full retail rate even though the customer electric generation does not include the capital investment of infrastructure,..."

Customers can generate electricity without equipment?

"Rocky Mountain Power estimates the utility's per kilowatt cost of electricity is slightly less than 11.2 cents, while net metering customers' cost was just under 2.6 cents per kilowatt."

It seems odd for Rocky Mountain Power to announce that amateurs can generate electricity for 1/4 the cost that RMP can...

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

This is Rocky Mountain Powers' discreet way of saying "we won't let anyone cut into our business" (without a fight). Despite all the commercials (paid for by ratepayers)towards conservation, you can bet if/when ANYONE starts to threaten their obscene revenue stream they will anything they can to discourage them.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

So basically Rocky Mountain Power wants to charge you for the privilege to sell them the power that they in turn sell to other customers through the very power lines they complain about people using to buy/sell the power from/to them. Wow. It is enough to make your head spin.

To me it sounds like they want to profit at the consumer's expense no matter if they are buying or selling. Only they win.

Morgan Duel
Taylorsville, UT

Rock Mountain Power is a fine outstanding American Company who always tries to do their best to reward the user of their services by providing cheap power or if they make a mistake and destroy another persons property they are willing to correct that mistake no matter the cost! LOL

Bountiful, UT

It certainly isn't unfair that Rocky Mountain Power charge this fee. But their fee would discourage the growth of clean renewable energy generation. We need early adopters for if alternative forms are going to get a foothold.

West Coast1
Secane, PA

I think these changes are very fair. Having solar power and wind power brings stability problems to the grid and there should not be paid at full price. Let me explain:

What if all power were generated by wind or solar power? Then lets say a cloud went over the sun. Suddenly the power would go out until the cloud passed. Same with wind, if it died down for a second, then the power would go out. To prevent these problems you would have to have large energy storage devices or batteries to buffer the unpredictable power generation by mother nature.

This all costs money, so you can't be paid at full price.

Sandy, UT

Right now very few people have solar panels installed on their roofs. We should try to encourage clean energy production even if it cuts into Rocky Mountain's profits a little bit. This is especially true when we realize that our air quality is sometimes the worst in the nation.

Salt Lake City, UT

We'll rebate you if you buy LED light bulbs or energy efficient appliances to reduce your power consumption but if you actually make power we're going to charge you.

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

Solar and wind power at this time STABILIZES the grid and is worth MORE than the net metering flat charges people are getting. It provides stabilizing energy to the grid at peak times. Power from the suburbs goes to the city where it's being used during the day.

Power companys pay about 1 cent a kilowatt hour for electricity and then charge 12-15 cents for it with delivery charges. 1500% profit - ya they are suffering.

If 90% of the population had solar or wind then you would have a valid point and THEN something should be done. Having too much solar and wind power would be a fine problem to have but we don't have that problem so we certainly don't need this solution to it.

Right now, all they are trying to do is kill alternative energy. And by alternative I mean not owned and produced by the Koch brothers that are sponsoring this legislation all over the country. They just finished here in Arizona with limited success on their part.

Taylorsville, UT

I think that Rocky Mountain Power has been having a management and financial crises since they bought out Utah Power and tripled the monthly cost in the first year of operations to every one in Utah. Since Rocky Mountain Power is a California operations its logical that they are in crises and want to over charge customer Rather than fix this companies financial problems. Too many CEO are hogging the cash profits stripping funds for overhead expenses.

Its time all busnises and utility companies be required to have cash resources greater than overhead cost and stop using debt to offset mismanagement for economic distress. RMP is out of state and Utah has limited access to its management skills and abilities and apparently the company doesn't have any.

As for "net" customers, they should be required to have their own backup sources in place before they even connect to their homes, its illogical to pay thousands of dollars for a system that has no backup provisions independent of local power companies, since the power company has to invest a lot of capital in hardware, reverse billing, reverse power controls should these homes have a melt down, fire, or disaster.

Ogden, UT

@West Coast1

The solution you refer to is not in the form of storage but is called "spinning reserve" in the power industry. It takes at least an hour from a dead stop to get a generator up to speed. To prevent service interruption in the event of a generator failure, RMP is required to have at least 10 percent of their generating capacity more than their current demand spinning at all times but not generating so it can kick in at a moment's notice.That is required by law.

The additional instability of supply caused by solar and wind sources will be compensated for by the same method. Even more idle "spinning capacity" will be required to buffer against dark-of-night and calm wind conditions. Spinning capacity burns fuel or hydro storage but does not generate. So even though a solar or wind customer can contribute 20 to 30 percent of the time, RMP must build additional generating power to compensate for their unreliability.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

Investors in a shareholder-owned, for-profit system like RMP live or die on revenue-growth. That's one of the metrics that determines how much their stock will increase in value. Power generators like RMP also profit by being allowed to charge a "reasonable amount" on their investments in new generating capacity by raising their rates. Having to purchase alternative power cuts into both of these. The more alternative power available, the less new capacity the utility needs to build, so the less new investment, and hence less rate increases.

Take a look at Seattle City Light's rates. That utility is a municipally-owned, non-profit system. They're about half of yours. I wonder what your rates would be if RMP were municipally-owned/state-owned, too?

Local Fan
Aurora, CO

Who is John Galt? Take from the producers and give the product of the producer's efforts to those who do not produce as well. If you haven't read Atlas Shrugged, you'll recognize this in the treatment of Henry Rearden.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

As long as the Gov. is printing money, who wouldn't want the value. The State is who will OK rate increases Obama signed into law when he was first elected this will happen. Every percent compounds on itself. We are in the dark ages cause I can't afford to turn on a light.

Durham, NC

I don't know the math behind the numbers justifying the rates, but the concept that the power company should be able to recoup some of the cost of redistributing the power you generate seems reasonable to me. Listen, the only way alternatives will ever work is if it makes sense across the entire supply chain. To say Rocky Mountain must act as your standby power source at no cost to you is ridicules. To say they must resell power you generate at cost or even a loss in a game stopper.

Make sure everyone across the supply chain is benefitting, and then we will have a growing alternative energy market. To the details of the rates, that deserves some further consideration. But conceptually, I see no problem with the fees.

Moses Lake, WA

That makes sense. Charge the customer for doing your job more efficient. Where do i sign up to produce my own electricity then get penalized for being part of a solution.
He here is another good idea. Why don't we pay people not to work. That way they can spend the money they didn't earn and maybe create more jobs. yea, and lets pay them for an additional 3 months.
We are in deep troulble

Sioux City, IA

RMP has miles of lines and substations connected to their generating equipment that they maintain. The homeowner gets free use of the additional infrastructure when selling back to RMP.
Also he does not have to supply and maintain a constant level throughout the year. He may be supplying 3000Kwh one month and only 1500Kwh the next as conditions and his usage vary. So maybe he should get his cost plus 50% of the difference between his cost and RMP's.

Bountiful, UT

Lets be fair to Rocky Mountain power but also be socially smart.

Since everyone benefits from the clean air and the conservation of natural resources that wind and solar power makes available. Let everyone pay this fee in the form of slightly higher rates for electricity.

Springville, UT

RMP is correct to ask for a small fee. After all they were the ones that invested in all of the infrastructure that allows this flow of electricity BOTH ways now that there are a few net users out there.

The idea that the net user should be compensated at the same rate per kilowatt is ludicrous when you think about the requirements and regulations RMP must meet to provide that ONE customer special connection arrangements.

A small monthly fee is quite fair.

In light of what Obama is doing to the coal powered plants and the coal industry as a whole in this country, a few people crying foul about a tiny fee pales to what people will be screaming when electric rates soar in the next few years.

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