Comments about ‘Letter: Solar customers should pay’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 4 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

No need to worry. You just try going without using any grid electricity at all and then look at your bill. You still will be charged an appreciable sum each month. Easily this is an adequate infrastructure maintenance share.

Bountiful, UT

I do not have solar cells, but if those who do are to be charged a fee, then those of us who don't use solar should also be charged a fee because we pollute and squander energy resources excessively. Fair is fair.

Omaha, NE

This argument works, if they get paid for the electricity that they put back into the system.

Do they?

If not, then this argument is spurious.

Here, UT


Salt Lake City, UT

So, David, would you also complain about those folks who reduce their power usage through installing insulation, replacing the electric stove and water heater with gas appliances, upgrading electric appliances to EnergyStar rated appliances, replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, or who otherwise conserve electric energy? Should they also be surcharged because they draw less from the grid but are still connected to it? Why should solar users be singled out for the surcharge?

RMP's proposal is discriminatory, and reveals its fear of and attempt to suppress competition from solar customers, as well as its allegiance to the coal industry, ALEC, and the Koch brothers.

Provo, UT

Has Peter North seen what the valley looks like most of the year? Does he have children with respiratory illness? Do his eyes burn during November to May because the inversion is so strong?

I don't care how justified he thinks RMP is to charge those rich "greenies." RMP should not be punishing those who are doing us all a favor by going green.

Apparently North doesn't care at all about our health. He wants to hurt the greenies so that he can continue to use dirty fuel.

Poplar Grove, UT

I moved into an old house, and have cut my power consumption by 30%-40%, by insulating the attic, walls and crawlspace, replacing all of the ancient appliance with brand new high efficiency appliances, all my light bulbs are LED, and replacing the electric water heater with a natural gas water heater. Should RMP be able to charge me a surcharge for being more energy efficient?

one old man
Ogden, UT

Somebody has been listening to too much Koch propaganda.

Atlas Smashed
Santa Monica, CA

This is nothing more than the Koch bros legislating via Americans for Prosperity and ALEC their own personal agenda.

In Kansas, they have already unsuccessfully attempted to overturn a mandate that required 20 percent of the state's energy come from renewable resources.

In fact, Barry Goldwater Jr., a Republican Party stalwart said, "These solar companies are becoming popular, and utilities don't like competition," Goldwater said. "I believe people ought to have a choice."

RMP doesn't want competition. They don't like people using solar. Solar panel users have rattled the cage.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Renewable electricity is most available during the day. That is when peak hours are.

Did you know that Germany produces 5 times more solar energy than the USA? How can we be satisfied with this? How is Germany and China outproducing us in solar energy? Unacceptable!

Now, to clear up the muck that I've read recently:

Did you know that RMP doesn't allow solar users to sell their energy back?

Did you know that all of RMP's directors earn $300k+? Pacificorp, the company that owns RMP, is a Fortune 500 company. And yet, they want to cry the blues about money? Oh please! Adapt or go extinct!

RMP should be thanking users for going solar. If they were a smart business, they'd take advantage of the newly liberated resources and expand! Why punish solar users?

Did you know this would be their 3rd increase in 2 years? I thought tax increases were bad? How isn't this a tax increase?

Due to the inversions we typically get, RMP should be encouraging not discouraging solar energy. Perhaps it's the competition they're afraid of? I thought repubs liked competition? Right repubs?

Burke, VA

Neither the letter nor the comments tell me what the actual situation is. I don't live in Utah and so I don't know the circumstances but…

If the power company has a basic connection fee - a fee they charge each month for those who are connected to their service - and if a home is connected to that service, then they should pay the fee, no matter how much service they use. The service is there and is available if, and or when they need it.

If the home is connected but also uses solar cells to supplement their power usage, and they are charged a separate fee, on top of what others who don't' have solar cells are charged, then that is nonsense and unfair.

And of course, if a home is not connected to the system and does not use any energy from the power grid, then they should not be getting a power bill of any kind.

So just what is the situation in Utah? Can one of the commenters explain?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Folks like North are using divisive Koch bros inspired rhetoric to hurt Americans.

If North feels like he's being taken advantage of then perhaps he should join the rest of us in the 21st century and get solar panels?

Have you seen the winter times here? Have you looked into the eyes of a child born with respiratory illness due to the nation's worst air quality? And yet, you want to punish those who are acting responsibly?

For most of our country's existence, we've had a sense of freedom together with a sense of responsibility.Unfortunately, since 1980, I've seen a surge in selfishness and instant gratification. Immorality abounds!

Now, it's good to lie on your tax payers and claim that your company isn't based here in the United States.
Now, it's okay for millionaires to pay lower rates than a single mom with kids.
Now, it's perfectly fine to shut down the government and hurt our armed forces and retired people to throw a temper a tantrum.

Now, RMP and cohorts like North, want to hurt those who have merely tried to help clean our environment. Is this moral?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT


"So just what is the situation in Utah? Can one of the commenters explain?"

All are charged about $5 dollars per month for their hookups. And that was fine... Up until this year.

RMP is now proposing an increase of $10 dollars on solar panel users and only solar panel users. Those without solar panels would not be effected.

It's clearly motivated to discourage those who might be thinking about dropping RMP and going green. If they go green then they pay less for RMP's dirty energy.

RMP is controlled by the Koch bros. The Koch bros are trying to pass similar increases in states all around the west. California, Wyoming, Arizona, and Kansas have experienced similar attacks. If you google this you'll see countless articles from Forbes to the LA Times exposing this.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Curmudgeon – “Why should solar users be singled out for the surcharge?”

And the answer is – solar is competition and businesses hate competition. Further, RMP is a natural monopoly and barring any regulation to stop them, they can do whatever they want.

@The Real Maverick – “RMP is controlled by the Koch bros.”

Add to the mix this little nugget and the problem becomes infinitely worse. It used to be that anyone with half a brain recognized the deleterious effects of monopolies, but today we have large segments of the country who have been brainwashed into believing the opposite.

The oligarchs and monopolists have never had it so good…

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

I recently read an article on yahoo talking about Germany and their solar energy. Their system is so unreliable they have to supplement it from traditional fossil fuel burning supplies, and have to pay up to 400% the normal wholesale market price for the power. You cannot yet hold Germany up as a shining example of solar energy.

And you talk of divisive Koch bros inspired rhetoric? I guess you’ve never listened to your hero BO and harry reid and all their divisive rhetoric. And their actions and legislation have hurt Amricans.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Does the water company charge a fee, just to be "connected"?
Does the gas company charge a fee, just to be "connected"?
Do they just charge by useage?

Since when did Rocky Mountain Power get to dictate and change the rules on how Public Utilities are being charged?


If being connected is a real cost,
Then EVERYONE connected needs to be charged.

Provo, UT

@ Lost

Mitch McConnell declared that his job was to make Obama a one-term President.
Boehner has launched a lawsuit against the President. When has this ever worked? Remember Newt?

Republicans act like their victims of unprecedented attacks from the left when exactly the opposite is true. Until Romney is questioned about his birth certificate, the right has no room to complain.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Tyler D
"RMP is a natural monopoly and barring any regulation to stop them, they can do whatever they want."

Actually, RMP is a regulated monopoly; it cannot do whatever it wants, because it has to obtain approval from the public utilities commission in each state where it operates (which is why it is petitioning the Utah Public Service Commission for permission to impose the solar surcharge). It also has to comply with federal regulations. If it ever was a natural monopoly (which I doubt), it is fast becoming subject to competition from other sources of power controlled by third parties, including but not limited to solar power. Interestingly, RMP is experiencing something similar to what happened to the Bell telephone system 30 years ago, which also was once a regulated monopoly until MCI started its own long distance network.

Atlas Smashed
Santa Monica, CA

Wow there are a lot of really obnoxious posts today!

Lds liberal hit the nail on the head. If there's a charge to be connected, then everyone should have to pay.

Instead, it seems like RMP is creating out of their rear new ways to charge people... And not just anyone, solar panel users.


Well... Isn't it obvious? They don't want the competition. It will be interesting to see how our legislature deals with this. Aren't they supposed to approve or disapprove all rate increases? Will they continue as business as usual or in light of recent scandals be more sensitive to being so openly biased and bought off?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Solar power is a GOOD thing. We want ALL people to go to solar power... Right?

So... what if everybody DID go to solar power... Who would pay for the guys who construct the towers or tunnels and wires that come to each house? Who pays for the guys who dig up the roads each summer to fix stuff, and the guys who come out in the middle of the night when a snow storm tears the wires down? Who pays for the transformer stations and their maintenance. Who pays for the people to monitor the system and to maintain it... so we know it will work when we need it?



Should we all have to pay for our own? Each person runs their own wire from Flaming Gorge to their house? And each person maintains it (because RMP is not around anymore)...


If we are going to encourage EVERYBODY to get solar power... we need to find a way to pay for the infrastructure that backs in up... Right???

What GOOD does putting RMP out of business to for ANYBODY?

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