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Rocky Mountain Power wants net metering customers to pay 'fair share'

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  • weakstuffout West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 12:55 p.m.

    5) Exhibit RRR from the Public Services Commision website (link below) - I studied this for about 30 minutes and while I believe I understood most of the line items, I am still not following the connection between kWH from net metering and how that is translated into $4.25 rate increase for net metering customers. Assuming the above 4 items being true, shouldn't the better calculation be to determine the following: 1--kWH produced by these residential systems total for the year; 2--subtract what is used by these same customers over a given year. Then, the left over (if there is additional capacity produced by these systems) maybe should be pro-rated against the interconnection fee for these same net metering customers.

    That's all I have

  • weakstuffout West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    3) Net Metering customers already pay the connection fee just like everyone else does. That is in place regardless of electricity used or produced. In other words, if I produce more energy than consumed for a given month, I STILL PAY THE MONTHLY CONNECTION FEE ALREADY...

    4) For those net metering customers using more power than they produce, they effectively get hit with a fee that doesn't really apply to them. For example, Joe uses 700kWh per month while generating 300kWh per month. Joe also pays an INTERCONNECT FEE of around $5 every month. Now he will need to pay this fee even though the only power "bought back at retail rates by RMP" is the 300kWh. They still make money on the other 400kWh RMP buys off Joe. In other words, RMP calls it buying back at retail rates even though it is really just NET of production by the consumer.

  • weakstuffout West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 12:50 p.m.

    2) Another reason for new fee according to RMP: net metering customers pay less per kWh than RMP to produce because of lack of infrastructure requirements. Again, while factually true, the reality is that RMP receives benefits from net metering customers from their ability to help offset demands for electricity. For example, the summer months provide some of the largest challenges to RMP for providing reliable power when the demand is so high. This high demand is helped in no small way by solar panels which provide additional power even and especially when the a/c for that house is not running. Additionally, the costs of transmission/distribution are poorly aimed at net metering customers as the power generated is immediately available to neighbors on the grid without having to transfer the power across miles of lines to a substation. It should offset some of their infrastructure and capacity planning as well. Oh yeah, did I mention the residual power to the grid over and above what a customer uses for a given year is given to RMP (See #1)?

    Not Done Yet...

  • weakstuffout West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    @All, Adding onto HeresmyTake:

    I have some concerns about the proposed NEW fee by RMP specifically to net metering customers.

    1) Reason for the new fee according to RMP: they are obligated to buy back excess power generated from the customer at retail rates. While this is factually true, but that is really not the case. Looking through my net metering contract and on RMPs website (link below), if I were to produce more than used for a given year, the excess is just claimed by RMP. From month to month it is carried forward, but for the year, it is essentially given to RMP. That means that RMP ONLY has to buy back the electricity we produce which makes sense. It is only NET up to a customers usage from month to month and anything above that for the year is available to RMP. Don't let RMP's "Retail" verbage scare you.

    Not Done Yet Either....

  • tgurd Gonzales, LA
    Jan. 9, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    So now the birds come home to roost yes let the tax payers pay for the green energy to save money and then now come the utilities crying for more money. like I have said if people cant see whats going on they need to pay more for foolishness and this green energy has been the biggest rip off every done to the people than anything else be it cars windmills or anything else that costs billions is given to cronies of those elected and then given to the people to pay for after they fail

  • HeresmyTake Orem, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:46 p.m.

    I sure hope enough voices stand up to prevent this from happening here. We need more incentives for renewable and alternative energies, not less. And in the grand scheme of the Rocky Mtn Power energy pool this is a drop in the bucket, there are other alternatives. The fact that this method was chosen to increase revenue and cover increasing costs is outrageous (to many of us anyway). Find somewhere else to raise costs, or better yet don't raise them AT ALL! Find a way to be more efficient internally, just like these solar customers are doing!

  • HeresmyTake Orem, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:46 p.m.

    3. RECs (Renewable Energy Certificate), issued for each MWh of energy produced from a renewable source. These credits are worth $$$, and when you sign a net metering agreement you give Rocky Mtn Power the rights to yours, these are valuable. States including Utah have requirements/goals for certain percentage of their power coming from renewable energy sources, also voluntary markets (like Al Gore) who wish to purchase these credits to offset their carbon-footprint(so they can feel ok about flying in private jets); you may scoff but the market exists).
    4. Utah is not known for being a friendly marketplace for renewable energies, although we are in one of the most ideal locations in all of the world for such technologies, our incentives greatly lack those of many other states. So...why are we going in the opposite direction?!?! It's in our interest as residents of this state to be efficient with our resources: water, coal, oil, etc. Installing solar teaches valuables lessens to all involved. It helps energy become something tangible that should be conserved, not mis-used, unappreciated, and taken advantage of; to which we all pay a price, increased emissions, a reduction of natural resources.

  • HeresmyTake Orem, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:34 p.m.

    Wow...this article made me angry enough to create an account just to comment. I think this proposed charge is ridiculous for the following reasons (FYI I do not install solar power or have a system on my house-yet):
    1. Promoting solar power has incredible immeasurable benefits. For example, zero emissions (doesn't that sound nice during these smog filled inversion days) reduction in green house gases (some my poo poo global warming, but there is PLENTY of factual science supporting it). Conservation of natural resources, every kwh of solar produced energy saves that much coal/natural gas/oil for our posterity, these are finite-resources that will one day run out. A power source that is able to function after a natural disaster when transmission lines are down, won't it be nice to be power something much needed when powers out for weeks/months.
    2. There is value when homeowners/business spend their own capital to build mini power plants all throughout the state. If not for these, Rocky Mtn Power would be enlarging/building new power plants which we all would be paying for, which are not cheap.
    I'm not done

  • joeandrade Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 6:46 p.m.

    Rocky Mtn Power (RMP) should indeed use the growing solar capacity and interest in net metering as encouragement to revisit and modify their management plans - and move more aggressively to a much higher renewable energy mix in its portfolio. Even the major oil/fossil fuel firms are now planning for a significant carbon tax or fee - RMP needs to do likewise.

    Rather than ask the Public Service Commission (PSC) for a rate increase to continue business as usual, they need to ask PSC for rates which continue to encourage and develop residential and commercial solar installations.

    Management needs to plan for a 21st century focus on renewable energy, rather than continuing a business as usual plan mired in a 19th century fossil fuel mentality.

    If management cannot understand this new reality, perhaps RMP's 'owner', Mr. Buffett, should bring in some fresh talent.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 8, 2014 5:23 p.m.

    @RedShirt – “… did you just get confused between a mandate and a single payer system?”

    Now we’re jumping to a whole new fence (single payer health plan)? Keeping up with this conversation is like herding cats…

    Anyway, since we’re no longer discussing an analogy (between utility companies and single payer) but have moved on to healthcare – yes, I am aware of what each of those politicians supported and/or proposed.

    My point was to contrast their views with your past criticisms of Obamacare and most anything else to the right of Rush & Glenn (which all these politicians I noted were).

    But I’m thrilled to see to see that (it sounds like) you actually like what many of those old school republicans proposed on healthcare. You are aware that many of their plans were remarkably similar to Obamacare, and some were even to the Left (Nixon, who proposed a public option in his plan) aren’t you?

    Can we take this as a retraction of all your past Obamacare rants?

  • NoBoxScot Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 8, 2014 5:20 p.m.

    To all those who argue it is reasonable for RMP to charge a 'small fee' - they already charge this fee if you have a net meter. In no case will they pay you for any excess power generated - zero, zippo (residential customer). It merely offsets the amount you use if you don't generate enough (say at night). Thinking of going solar in Utah? Forget it. Want to go green? Not here! Save the planet? Nope - feed the greed. Germany is an example of what happens when you encourage solar. Check that one out. Now that Obama is killing coal, see how that is going to hit you in the pocket; oops, wait 1 year for that surprise from RMP.

  • NoBoxScot Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 8, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    I installed solar in Salt Lake City and it is a joke. At the going rate the local companies are charging per kilowatt capacity it just doesn't make any sense - you are looking at 30 to 40 year return on investment! So if I didn't put in solar, and nobody puts in any kind of alternative energy (as RMP is implying) then it will cost them less if I understand most of the argument. So do they think my solar panels just dropped out of the sky, didn't cost me anything? And my bill before solar included a bunch of nibbling charges based on kWh usage. Now that my net usage has dropped they have replaced that charge with a flat charge that is on the high end of those monthly variable charges - neat trick! On top of that I am charged a minimum charge if I use power or not (as do most customers). Each year they 'reset' my net meter to zero just to discourage me from genereating too much power. Now they want to add another 'use fee' on top of that! Solar? Not Here! Monopolies are great.

  • RJR Heber City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    How ironic that RMP is asking for a rate increase to cover the cost for added generation at Lake Side and contained in the same request is an added cost to net metering customers. Net metering directly offsets generation requirements on the utility, which reduces the need for added plants like Lake Side.
    RMP only provides a billing credit to the monthly bill of the net metering customer. Since the credit is customer specific it should be at a retail rate. If the credit exceeds the monthly bill (generation exceeds use) the credit rolls into the next month’s billing period. However, any credits after 12 months are cleared from the customer’s account. In other words RMP has used or sold the excess generation and provides $0 to the customer for that power. This proposed adder to the tariff only makes sense if RMP continues to provide the credit and then at the end of the 12 month period pays the customer the avoided cost for the power generated and used by the utility.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    To "Tyler D" so waht you are saying is that you cannot refute what I have said.

    Eisenhower opposed a single payer system. He blocked a Democrat effort to start one. He said that he wanted to maintain a free market system.

    Nixon wanted employer mandates, not a single payer system.

    Bush also wanted private insurance. He wanted the states to pay private insurance companies to cover the poor and disabled.

    Bob Dole also pushed for a mandate as an alternative to a single payer system.

    Did you actually look up what those politicians believed in and did, or did you just get confused between a mandate and a single payer system?

  • slayer1 htown, TX
    Jan. 8, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    Just an attempt to stifle competition, that's all!

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 2:57 p.m.

    How is it that Red Shirt knows everything?
    HE should be our Governor.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Jan. 8, 2014 2:34 p.m.

    All over the country municipalities will condemn your home if your utilities are shut off. You may even have social services in to check on your kids. So good luck going off grid within a city. You can look it up.

    Since this is really a Koch brothers operation to secure and maintain coal sales and whatever else they sell that burns, if a lot of people found ways to go off grid they would still attack that as well.

    Solar and wind helps the utilities not have to build more generators that will end up idle at night when demand is lower. Utilities are also guaranteed a north of 1000% gross profit by the corporation commissions without any competition. Nice gig huh. Oh but solar and wind energy, they can't compete with that can they? I thought that stuff was too expensive? So follow the money lost to whom if a lot of people produce their own electricity. Koch Industries.

  • rtb Orem, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 2:21 p.m.

    I suspect nearly all net-metering customers are still consumers, not producers. As long as a customer is consuming electricity, the reduction in consumption is no different than implimenting other energy-saving strategies, such as adding insulation or upgrading to more efficient appliances.

    If a fee on net-metering customers were to be imposed, it should apply only to net producers. These people are generating power to make money and RMP does incur some costs associated with accomodating them. But charging a flat fee is unfair to small installations which only result in a reduction in their energy consumption.

    Were RMP to charge a flat net-metering fee, customers generating less energy than the monthly fee would be penalized for adopting clean energy solutions, which is ridiculous.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    To "LiberalJimmy" no, they are the largest power supplier.

    Some cities run their own power companies, such as Bountiful Power, St George, Kaysville, and 38 others. They don't have a monopoly on the state, just in the areas they serve.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 8, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    @RedShirt – “How do you expect them to cover just the administrative costs to run the program if they can't recover some of the costs through a small monthly fee?”

    And…

    “This is a small example of what you get when you have a single payer system.”

    You’re sure arguing from both sides of the fence here… what was your point again? Oh yeah, that liberals (which I take to mean anyone to the left of you – e.g., Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush Sr., Bob Dole, etc…) don’t understand how business operates… got it.

    And speaking of understanding the business in question, you might benefit from doing a Google search on Utilities and Natural Monopolies.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    It seems to me, the basic problem to be solved is how does RMP and government regulators handle the situation where businesses not part of RMP want to generate power and put that power into the grid. RMP has proposed an answer to this problem in the form of a monthly fee to the small producers. I think that is a reasonable answer, but the question remains of how much should the fee charge. Perhaps there are other possible solutions to this problem?

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    @washcomom RMP is a private organization that provides a service for a fee. Of course they are in business to make a profit. That's the whole idea of the free enterprise system. The question in my mind is whether the fees charged by RMP are reasonable and whether government regulation allows persons to bypass RMP. RMP owns and maintains the grid and has the right to charge fees for connection to the grid. We pay for all of this in our monthly electrical bill. Persons generating power via solar, water, and wind are essentially operating a business, and RMP has the right to charge them for connection to the grid. And, I hope, these small businesses have the right to bypass RMP. Since RMP owns the grid, these small businesses, if they bypass RMP, are also bypassing the grid and thus are limited to the power wires in their own homes.

    I would like to see a system where people can provide power for their own home and also contract with their power company to provide power to the homes if need be, but this type of system would be expensive and probably is not feasible at this time.

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    "The state's largest power supplier" You mean the state's ONLY power supplier! Monopoly!

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    It is funny to see just how poorly the liberals understand how business operates. As the article stated, the law states that they RMPower has to buy power at the same price that it sells it. How do you expect them to cover just the administrative costs to run the program if they can't recover some of the costs through a small monthly fee?

    The ironic thing is that the same people complaining about this rate increase are the same people that want a single payer healthcare system. This is a small example of what you get when you have a single payer system.

    To "Tyler D" it should strike you not as croney capitalism. This should strike you as Fascism. You have the government micromanaging a private business. That is called Fascism.

    To "washcomom" since when it it wrong for a company to make a profit?

  • Solar_Guy Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    This is an action to hinder the growth of solar because of the inevitable profit loss that will come for the utility. This threat will only continue as solar and other alternative energy sectors continue to grow.

    Charging for net-metering is definitely going to hurt the solar industry. The only thing a potential solar customer is going to think is that they have to pay more if they want to install solar. Go ahead and charge the customer for the new meter but don't tack on a monthly fee.

    I am for diversified energy but charging customers more for helping the situation is not the right decision.

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Jan. 8, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    Those are the wrong people to tax with the burden of being energy efficient. Why penalize those that are doing a good thing? The reason? Because the power company didn't think of providing an incentive in the first place.

    The only reason the power company wants to increase fees like this is to make a profit. They are not in the business of absolute service. That's just the means of business to gain profit somehow, some way.

  • LDS Tree-Hugger Farmington, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    Wait a second...

    If RMP is getting electricity from the local produces,
    Doesn't that allow them to keep more of their money from other customers to pay for that "infrastructure"?

    The Federal Government put the power buy back program in place to stimulate re-newable green energy.

    The Federal Government gives plenty of incentive programs for the big guys in business as well.
    This is just greed, pure and simple.

  • lket Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    you cant disconect from the power grid even if you can generate your own power think about that.

  • red.diehard Central, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    Simple solution to all you net meter supporters, disconnect from the grid. When you are not connected to the infrastructure there is no fee paid to that evil RMP. Until then pay to have access to the benefits of the grid, such as electricity at night.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    Several people have spoken of going off the grid entirely. If that is a viable option for you, go for it!

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    I for one agree with Heretic, we ought to make California pay out the nose for their power generated by our coal. But to answer his question about who paid for the dams? The taxpayers paid for the dams construction and the revenue from generating power has paid the tax payers back for that cost many times over.

    If you live in Kearns you could have both wind power and solar power and potentially get off of the electrical grid entirely.

  • Katherine Centerville, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    They want me to pay for the "privilege" of purchasing solar grids, paying to have them installed, supplying my own power, generating more power than I use, and then allowing them to use my excess?! How about if I just go off-grid?

    Rocky Mountain should charge power users an honest rate, not charge power suppliers for the "privilege" of providing power.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    SO nice to be off the grid. We have a hydroelectric generator in the creek, and some solar.
    Very nice indeed to not line their deep pockets.

  • Ryan9 Grantsville, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    Yeah, anybody that makes it possible for the power companies of this country to increase it's power distribution capability without increasing the size of their facilities or generating more pollution should get a good swift kick in the behind. And that is what they intend to do here.

  • Patina Hoops Salt Lake city, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    This is a strategy by the American Legislative Exchange Council, it's corporate affiliates and lawmaker members to legislate away clean energy options for consumers in favor of fossil fuel and utility company profit. Good to know Rocky Mountain Power is aligning themselves with ALEC and this strategy. Interesting...

    "Gabe Elsner, director of the Energy and Policy Institute, said the attack on small-scale solar was part of the larger ALEC project to block clean energy. "They are trying to eliminate pro-solar policies in the states to protect utility industry profits," he said." From The Guardian article titled "ALEC calls for penalties on 'freerider' homeowners in assault on clean energy" Dec. 4 2013 by Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington and Ed Pilkington in New York.

  • Red San Antonia, TX
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    If the solar panels were not there then RMP would have to build more sub stations. The SP group is saving us all money.

    RMP please stop gouging us and trying to justify it by having your conspiring bean counters continue to raise rates.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 8, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    This effort strikes me as pure rent seeking and crony capitalism. And even if there’s some truth here, we’re supposed to take RMP’s word for it? I hope the UPSC conducts an independent audit and solicits input from unaffiliated economists before deciding the issue.

    And let’s hear from the Tea Party folks (who in theory are supposed to be against this sort of thing).

    What say you?

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    Part of RMP's logic is that they have to pay the cost of power lines, generating equipment, etc. while private producers of power don't pay those expenses. RMP seems to be forgetting that private power producers had to pay the cost of their solar cells, wind turbines, and inverters.

    I wonder if it is possible and/or feasible for private producers to not put their excess into the RMP grid. That is, use solar cells and wind turbines to power ones home with RMP providing a smaller amount of power to the home. Excess power from the solar cells, etc. would be wasted. This means that during summer months, little power from RMP would be used but during winter months more power from RMP would be used.

  • Hoss1057 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    It has been quite a while since I worked for "UP&L", but at that time customers who produced more than they used were credited at wholesale rates. To me that seems fair. What does smell fishy about this is that it is an across the board fee for co-gen (those who produce a portion of their own electricity) customers. I have no idea what the numbers are, but I would highly doubt that there are many who produce more than they consume. But they will have to pay for their efforts to supplement their energy consumption.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 7:41 a.m.

    RMP needs to come clean and state the real issue is only to generate more power. This whole scheme is a Koch brothers funded PR stunt to slow the growth of renewable sources of energy. I am very happy I am not forced to purchase power from RMP and have an amazing municipal power company which exceeds all of expectations.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    @West Coast

    A cloud does not block solar panels from generating energy. Nighttime does.

  • Million Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 7:20 a.m.

    Rocky Mountain Power lottery of $1.00 a kilowatt to install solar is a way to stop solar installation. The reason it limits installation is because people try to win the $1.00 lottery and when they don't they wait for the next year. If the lottery was for .25 a watt then four times as many people would be installing solar (which of course Rocky Mountain Power doesn't want to happen as evidenced by this new request - however I agree with the request for a monthly service fee).

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Jan. 8, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    There is no power shortage, just price-fixing. In the end, big business wins, no matter how you slice it. Our retirement packages are even tied to stocks in the power companies. It's all the same. They need the income, or else they are out of business. If you could invent a way to generate power from your body's own methane gas, the power company's and even your own local government will levy a flatulence tax on you.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 7:12 a.m.

    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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    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.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Jan. 8, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    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.

  • roberto Moses Lake, WA
    Jan. 8, 2014 6:17 a.m.

    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

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 8, 2014 6:01 a.m.

    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.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 5:52 a.m.

    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.

  • Local Fan Aurora, CO
    Jan. 8, 2014 5:51 a.m.

    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.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 8, 2014 5:33 a.m.

    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?

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 5:08 a.m.

    @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.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 2:38 a.m.

    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.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Jan. 8, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    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.

  • hissho Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 11:09 p.m.

    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.

  • Trebor Sandy, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 11:04 p.m.

    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.

  • West Coast1 Secane, PA
    Jan. 7, 2014 10:36 p.m.

    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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 9:50 p.m.

    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.

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 8:35 p.m.

    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

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 7:10 p.m.

    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.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    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.

  • srw Riverton, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 6:19 p.m.

    "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...

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 5:34 p.m.

    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?