Comments about ‘Are rate changes needed for customers who generate their own power?’

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Published: Saturday, Jan. 18 2014 3:00 p.m. MST

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JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

micawber: So how much do you save on electricity each year due to your solar panels? How much did it cost you to install and maintain each year? How long will it take to "break even" on your investment without taking into account any tax subsidy you might have received? 20 years? 30?

If so, you might feel good about your contribution to "clean energy", but don't try to claim that it is a good investment.

MikRo
Draper, UT

As the person mentioned in the article, I'd like to clarify a few things and explain why the pie chart graphics give the wrong impression and why the $4.25 charge cannot be justified.

RMP claims that my overproduction has a dramatic impact on their infrastructure. Here's the truth:

- The only impact my overproduction has is on the 75’ from my meter to the common junction with my neighbor. From there it goes directly into my neighbor’s box and doesn’t get anywhere close to a high-voltage line, power generation facility, etc.
- When RMP ‘buys’ my power they do so at a lower rate; when the resell that power to my neighbor they do so at a higher tier rate.
- When a kWh of my efficiently overproduced power goes to my neighbor it eliminates the need for RMP to inefficiently produce multiple kWh’s at a distant power plant.
- Every kWh I generate, overproduced or not, has far less carbon impact than the coal or gas burning power plants used by RMP.

Space here is limited so see my comments at the PSC here goo.gl/MSzE5A and the RMP filing here goo.gl/Z66cGs.

Mike Rossetti

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Isn't this like charging ward members a fee for bringing food to ward party pot luck?
[...um, it's to help off set the costs for wear and tear on chairs and tables...]

Wrong on so many levels...

weakstuffout
West Jordan, UT

PEOPLE--please do not be misinformed. As a net metered customer, if I were to produce more power than I consume for a given year, RMP DOES NOT pay me for that extra electricity. Month to month, yes, it is carried forward and used against future months usage--ONLY UP TO THE POINT OF USAGE...NO MORE! At the end of the year, the slate is "wiped clean." In other words, if I had a surplus of 500kWh that I had produced over what I consumed, RMP resets the counter to 0 and starts the new year...they GET those 500kWh.

PLEASE BE AWARE OF THIS GARBAGE RATE INCREASE AND UNDERSTAND IT FOR WHAT IT IS. Others above have already commented on many of the other benefits RMP receives from net metering customers.

One more thing, we do already pay an interconnection fee ON TOP OF any electricity overage produced. It is 5 or 6 bucks a month. My understanding is that this interconnection fee is supposed to cover the infrastructure costs claimed by RMP to be so much disturbed by us net metering customers...sarcasm included.

weakstuffout
West Jordan, UT

@JoeCapitalist2--You are making assumptions I believe are not accurate. Based on the size of his system, I imagine he is saving about $150/month on average over the entire year, not just the summer peak months. Quite possibly it is even more.

Additionally, on top of a 30% fed tax CREDIT, there is a 20% state tax credit (up to $2000). So his out of pocket is closer to 18K (unless he did this system before there was a state tax credit).

Lastly, there are other reasons besides financial that we do these things.

rnoble
Pendleton, OR

As I understand it RMP is trying to change from buying consumer-generated power at a "retail" rate to a "wholesale" rate. That is an argument supported only by assertion that power is disconnected in time and or place. The real picture is that RMP supplies power and the consumer pays for power on a monthly basis. Consumers who generate some of their own power sometimes generate more than they need and so the net use of power over the month is less; thus lower net billing to that customer. They are viewing that circumstance as paying retail for the lost sales. That is a thinking error and I was disappointed that the government agency seemed to be open to thinking that way.

They aren't alone; most accountants have been trained to use a "potential" as an opportunity cost in planning of any revenue maximization efforts.

rnoble
Pendleton, OR

Some of the comments here decry the assertion that consumer generated power is a "good" investment. It would seem that the only fair determinate of that appellation--good--is the one making the investment.

As a society we have become very aware of the accounting term Return On Investment(ROI) as a way to judge what we might want to do with our money which is excess to our standard of living. I believe that might be a valid number to know but a pretty poor determinant if used alone. Frankly, it smacks of greed.

rnoble
Pendleton, OR

I have noticed that solar is the focus of both the article and the comments. I have been researching the installation of wind generation on the roof of my home here in Oregon and it seems to be about half the money of solar. Being somewhat familiar with Utah, I can honestly say I am surprised no one has mentioned all the power being generated along the slopes of the Wasatch Front. I know the wind blows there just about everyday. I have seen designs for wind power in vertical and horizontal positions for rooftop and mast mounted installation. I wonder!

NoBoxScot
Salt Lake City, Utah

they already charge net metering residential customers an additional $4 to $8 charge each month now. look at your rocky mountain power bill (sorry I can't use proper capitalization - they kick out my comment for shouting) there will be a bunch of junk charges based on your kwh useage. If you go to net metering, since your usage will go down, those charges are now replaced by a non-varying fee called a net metering fee. think that is an average of what it used to be or closer to the maximum? guess. utah and rmp does not want solar. bigbusiness is running this country, don't make any mistake. Check your electric bill just before the state decided to convert to rmp, then see how much it has increased.

taichik
provo, ut

rocky mountain powers request to increase solar net customers does not make sense to me.
the biggest worry for rocky mountain is maintaining and updating their infrastructure for INCREASED demand.
solar net users decrease the need for this cost.
it seems to me that rocky mountain power should not only reimburse solar net customers market rate,, but also pay an incentive fee to net solar users for providing clean energy for power customers to use.
upside down: lets put is right side up

djohnanderson
Sandy, UT

I spend 4 months a year in Utah -- I love Utah's outdoors.

The rest of the year I live and work in Silicon Valley. One day a week I commute to the office, well I actually car pool to work with my girlfriend who works at Google. On the way to work the HOV lanes are filling up with electric cars. We usually see a google self-driving car too. Once we get to Google the entire front row of parking places is full of electric cars being charged while people work.

When working from home I walk to the post office. I see many houses with solar panels. Solar City will install them for free and rent them to you for less than your electric bill.

Welcome to the future. It's here today and Utah needs to catch up with Silicon Valley. Let's encourage renewables anyway we can. If we're smart we could also use renewables and electric cars to also solve the winter inversion problem.

Yesterday I ordered a 4.3 Kwatt solar array for my house in Sandy, which should more than offset my annual usage. I encourage you to do the same.

blondegoddess
Midvale, UT

Perhaps we need to look to other cities/countries that are implementing renewable energy and selling the excess to surrounding cities. Wildpoldsried Germany has taken over their own grid and now generates enough excess power to create $5.7 million in revenues for their city annually - obviously Rocky Mountain Power does not have the best interest of Utah in mind perhaps a change is in order!

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