Published: Wednesday, May 28 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT
If you buy into this hogwash then I have another offer to sell ya. I have beach
front property in Florida.It's a way to discourage consumers
from going solar. All ALEC influenced states as seeing an uptick in these types
of policies. Apparently, some people don't like the idea of folks going
Mr. Haycock uses the same argument used by the proponents of a surcharge on
owners of fuel-efficient vehicles: everyone should bear their fair share of the
cost of maintaining the grid/roads that they use. In the case of the power
grid, that cost is already built into the existing rate structure. RMP and its
ALEC-associated legislators want to shift more of that cost onto folks who take
the initiative and bear considerable up-front expense to reduce their dependence
on fossil fuels. It's no wonder that the fossil-fuel industry resists that
trend.Our complex society is already full of differential utility
pricing and tax policy designed to reward and incentivize some behaviors and
penalize and discourage others. I say let's not penalize, but rather
reward, those who help reduce our reliance on and use of a depleting and
I can see the logic in having an "itemized" billing, and agree
that paying to be connected to the grid, and cover those costs to maintain
the infrastructure is fair -- But, in order to keep it fair -- what's good for the goose, is good for the gander.Make
it that way for everyone, with no exceptions.
Mr. Haycock, your letter makes no sense.A person with solar panels
on their roof has no more influence on the power grid than a person who has
adopted effective efficiency measures to lower their power bills. Rocky
Mountain Power's grid can't tell the difference between a person using
solar panels and a person who has just turned off their A/C.If
anything, power utilities should be the ones _paying_ solar panel owners because
they lower their loads during peak demand times of the day.As noted
above, these attempts to punish owners of solar panels derive exclusively from
fossil fuel industry lobbyists. There is no rational economic justification to
make owning solar panels unattractive other than the coal industry's desire
to eliminate competition.
It is said that you never need to put a lid on a crab bucket. If one crab tries
to crawl out, the others will pull him back in and not let him escape.Mr Haycock would apparently like all of us to cook together just to prevent
another crab from saving a dollar or two on his energy bill.
Of interest is that Mr. Haycock is a former employee of Rocky Mountain Power,
having held the position of senior vice president and chief engineer.
"I pay for my usage of the power grid. Solar power owners should share in
that cost because of the benefit they get from the grid. Or, if they choose to,
they can disconnect from the grid and see how that works for them."==================An excellent point and one I made a few days ago
in response to a article on this topic in the Trib.I also mentioned
that rather than setting a certain fee for hooking up to the grid, why not
simply reimburse the pioneering solar powered home owner at a reduced rate.
Say, 80-90% of the regular power rate. That way everyone is compensated for the
benefits of having access to the grid and there is no need to monitor and
periodically adjust whatever is being proposed as a fee.It's a
win-win that can't lose! :o)
If you're willing to make some lifestyle changes, then living off the power
grid can work quite well for you.
I am for solar and I think its use should be expanded. However, Rocky Mountain
Power has to credit solar owners full retail rate for the solar power that goes
back on to the grid instead of credit a whole sale rate.
Mr. Hancock is parroting Rocky Mountain Power's smart-ALEC claim that solar
homeowners are "freeloaders" who do not pay their "fair share"
for infrastructure.That accusation is patently false. Whether
customers lower their bills with energy saving measures such as LED lighting,
more efficient appliances, double-pane windows, better insulation, programmable
thermostats, and/or solar panels, the results are the same. They simply pay less
for the proportional infrastructure costs included in RMP's rate-per-kWh.
We all pay for as much infrastucture as we actually use. Why target solar
homeowners?Consider that every month, on average, RMP confiscates
$13.46 worth of electricity from my solar array and sells it to my neighbors at
the full rate, including infrastructure costs --even though it hasn't
burned one lump of coal (sunshine is free), generated a single watt (my array
does that), or transferred power through high voltage lines (there are none
between our homes). Yet RMP calls me a "freeloader"?! Pot, meet
kettle.And the icing on the cake is that every month I help RMP
clean up its dirty, fossil fool act, by eliminating 2,175 pounds of greenhouse
gases from its carbon footprint!
What is the real argument? Does the power company add a surcharge for every
school crossing where flashing lights are used? I see electric usage meters
connected to those flashing lights in my area. Do they charge a minimum rate so
that we can protect our children? Would they charge a minimum rate if they were
allowed? How about the widow in our neighborhood who has solar panels. She
also has storage batteries, so that most of her needs are met by her own system.
Should she pay a special fee so that she can use her electric garage door? I
don't know if she "sells" power back to the power company or not,
but, unless things have changed, she uses almost no power from the power
company. Should we all turn off our porch lights after 9:00 p.m.? Should we
let people stumble around in the dark to save a few cents?If the
power company were fair, it would never charge one paying customer more for
access to the grid than it charges any other customer, no matter how little
electricity the customer buys.
Not sure I understand why a solar user should pay an extra fee when they already
pay the same basic connection fee as all Rocky Mountain Power users. The only
difference with the solar user is they are giving some cleaner power back for
the company to use to offset their generation needs. Seems the company should
be encouraging, not discouraging solar.
@LDS Tree-HuggerFarmington, UTBut, in order to keep it fair --
what's good for the goose, is good for the gander.Make it that way for everyone, with no exceptions.7:09 a.m. May
28, 2014----@Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, UtahIf the power company were fair, it would never charge one paying
customer more for access to the grid than it charges any other customer, no
matter how little electricity the customer buys.10:19 a.m. May 28,
2014=== You see Mike, You CAN agree with us
Tree-Hugging Liberals.For the record, My LDS meetinghouse is
also Solar Powered.Mon-Sat, all DAY long, that meeting house is
pumping electric power back ONTO the grid.Netting an excess of 300%
usage.Houses are the same way.9am-5pm, when folks are away at
work - that house is loading the grid with free electricity for RMP, and
conviently right when load peak the most, and only drawing during the few
night hours just like before the converse, and just like everyone else. But the net carbon output is 75% - 85% less than before.Give Said
the Little Stream.Give O Give, Give O Give...
LDS Liberal, openminded mormon, LDS tree hugger, airnaut, et al,I'm not going to get into an argument with you over who first posted the
idea that the power company should itemize its bill, but you'll find, if
you care to do the research, that that idea preceded your post and that you
jumped on the bandwagon almost too late.===Any idea that
encourages us to do what we can to reduce reliance on fossil fuels helps IF that
"idea" is not subsidized by taxpayers and IF that "idea" can
stand on its own merits without Al Gore and his followers demanding a tax on
everyone who doesn't agree with that "idea".The power
company is a "limited monopoly". It has the guaranteed right to make a
profit, but it has no right to charge one customer more than another for a basic
Mr. Haycock, I take extreme exception to your last comment: "I pay for my
usage of the power grid. Solar power owners should share in that cost because of
the benefit they get from the grid. Or, if they choose to, they can disconnect
from the grid and see how that works for them."I use solar
panels to offset 30-50% of my monthly power bill. I pay a monthly
interconnection fee just like everyone else, solar panels or not. I believe it
is about $7 per month. This is how everyone shares in the infrastructure and
fixed costs of the grid. Now RMP wants to tack on a fee for people who use less
electricity?Even my friends who generate more than they consume
STILL PAY this monthly fee and STILL FORFEIT any excess at the end of the year.
Are they free-loading? Or is RMP free-loading? Which is it?Should
we also charge a fee to people who install energy efficient appliances, light
Maverick,Re: "I have beach front property in Florida"...FYI... The cliche is supposed to be "I'll sell you some beach front
property in Iceland, or Nevada, or Colorado (somewhere that doesn't have
beaches). They have beach front property in Florida... LOTS of it. Kinda
messes up the joke.Even people with some solar panels on their house
use the grid, even if only for a backup source of energy. They need to
contribute something to maintaining the infrastructure they benefit from when
they need it. Dams, generators, transmission lines, substations, transformers,
and maintenance of all of the above don't come free...
@2 bits:The interconnection fee is how EVERYONE shares costs of the
infrastructure. As noted already, this is on top of any free generation solar
customers give RMP for a given month. In other words, if Joe produces 900kWh
for the month and used 800kWh, he has a bill equivalent to the interconnection
fee.If, at the end of the 12 month period, Joe has produced in
excess of what he has consumed, the excess is taken by RMP WITHOUT paying retail
or even wholesale rates.Your point is well taken, I am saying that
the interconnection fee IS ALREADY IN PLACE FOR ALL NET METERED CUSTOMERS.
The decision on this issue will fall to the Utah Public Utilities Commission.
Yes, Rocky Mtn. Power has a LOUD voice with that body. No, the PUC doesn't
always do what they want. The BEST thing consumers can do is to write a nice
letter to the PUC telling them how YOU feel.Look at the
"root" of the commission PUBLIC utility commission. The commission has
a duty/obligation to do the right thing when it comes to the
"public".One of the MANY goals we should have as a society
is to become less dependent on the fossil fuel industry. The PUC SHOULD take
that goal into consideration.IF Rocky Mtn. Power would like to save
some of our rate dollars - how about they quit running worthless advertising on
TV? Its' not as if people can "shop around" for their power needs.
All their advertising means to me is that they must have way more revenue than
they know what to do with.
To "LDS Tree-Hugger" it is equal for every homeowner who wants to sell
power on the electrical grid. What many people don't know is that the
power company is required to buy solar power from home owners for the same price
they sell it. At that rate, if a family produces enough kWh during the daylight
to equal what they use in 24 hours, their bill would be $0, and they would not
be paying their fair share for maintenance of the system and the overhead costs
for the power company.
2 bits: I do not understand why people have such a hard time grasping that solar
homeowners DO pay for whatever infrastructure they use --just like everbody
else. Do they pay less than a neighbor without solar panels? Yes. Just like a
third neighbor who has LEDs, ultra-efficient appliances, top-knotch insulation,
double-paned windows, programmed thermostats. Are you saying that the latter
customer should also pay a penalty surcharge, because he has lowered his monthly
bill --just like the solar homeowner?As an analogy, would you also
make a Prius driver pay a penalty surcharge for gasoline than a Suburban driver?
After all, the Prius driver uses the fuel pumps, pipes, storage tanks, much less
than the Suburban driver. Yet "all the above don't come free,"
right?It is only FAIR that we PAY for what we actually USE. No more,
no less. That applies to all consumers --no matter what energy saving measures
we choose to implement individually.
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