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Comments about ‘Solar energy users claim victory as 'sun tax' rejected’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 30 2014 9:30 a.m. MDT

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poster boy
Ephraim, UT

What the article didn't address and the opponents of the fee increase didn't seem to convey (and should have) is that power lines loose power the farther they have to transfer the power. So the farther you are from the source, the more power it takes to get it to you. Every power generator (solar or wind) added to the system bolsters it up. That means that the power company actually has to make less power than what they show on your bill because of the distance it has to travel. By adding my solar panel to the grid, I make the grid stronger; or, in other words brown outs and power bumps don't effect the grid as much because my panel helps keep the power on the grid even. I should charge them for that service.

DEW
Sandy, UT

Does anyone know about SolarTek Solutions? Is it true that they charge some over 10-15 thousand dollars more to install those panels? Can a customer install it them selves for less than $10,000 and by how much less than SolarTek?

Why do we have to pay Utah Power for using solar?

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

This is the right decision. Yes, solar panel owners do use the grid, but so does anyone else who uses less energy with efficient light bulbs, Energy Star appliances, or employs gas generators to supplement their home's energy. It was never clear why Rocky Mountain Power wanted to go after only solar panel owners when so many other technologies also can reduce electricity consumption.

Rocky Mountain Power is heavily invested in coal-fired power, and solar is a threat to their monopolistic business model of forcing Utahns to buy coal-fired electricity. Coal will be subject to carbon taxes, but Rocky Mountain Power as a monopoly can simply pass those charges onto the Utah public because consumers have no choice.

Solar represents one alternative, however, where ratepayers can shield themselves from those escalating costs. Given that panels can pay for themselves quickly (within 7 years now, with government incentives), solar can be a sound investment.

Don't squawk about government incentives for solar... coal gets its share of subsidies from ObamaCare for black lung disease to railroad subsidies to water subsidies to pollution...

stevo123
slc, ut

Good call, do not penalize any thing that may improve Wasatch front air quality.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

@Baron Scarpia
Well there is an easy answer to that one. All of those things you mention still require you to buy some power from RMP, as long as you have to use them to buy any power at all, they can just keep raising rates and making money. So sure, you can cut your use, why do you think that once a year they ask for a rate increase? Solar(and in some places wind) is the only alternative to the monopolized power grid, and is the only real thing that threatens their business model.

Lets check the facts
Santa Fe, NM

Sounds like because he has $21000 to put solar on his roof, he is exempt from the fees everyone else pays to be on the grid. Any business that wants to remain out of the red has to charge for it's product in sales to cover its costs. That means unless you have $20,000 to purchase solar, you'll be paying for his access to the grid. I hope other state don't make this mistake.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

The power utilities exist to serve the public, not vice-versa. Rocky Mountain Power brags about its wattsmart program and its renewable energy incentives like the Utah Solar Incentive Program. Now they complain because they can't charge a penalty for these solar customers? Their programs now sound like only so much P.R.

I can see that if enough people began self-generating power that the power utility no longer could sell power from its own generating plants. The utility would shut down its polluting plants. Then the utility would simply become a shared distribution broker. In that case utility would need to charge a fee merely for hooking up to the network. It could broker payments from net consumers to net producers.

If Rocky Mountain Power were smart they would get ahead of the curve and plan for an all-renewable energy production plan. Then it could compete with local producers through economy of scale and become a better servant.

Come to think of it,wouldn't it be wiser to have many small producers so no single failure would be catastrophic and so that there would be lower power transmission losses as mentioned by Poster Boy?

My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

Win? Not really, the power companies can just disconnect service to these homes and let them prover how independent they are. I wonder what all these solar energy homes will do when they have to replaces all the solar panels, batteries, and wind generators every 10 years?

None of these secondary power systems last more than 10 years when it will have to be replaced, none of them paid much attention to the details of the MTBF of this equipment and how short a life span they have. In the mean time, Rocky Mountain Power, etc, can disconnect their systems and let the home owner buy more batteries and equipment.

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

"DEW" that really depends on how "handy" you are with electrical. Most of the folks I've read up online seem to know a whole lot more than me. I'll be paying to have mine installed - correctly, which I plan to do in the next 2-3 yrs.

The only decision I haven't made yet is whether to drop Rocky Mtn. power altogether, and have a propane or diesel generator for when I need it.
Based on this latest bit of arrogance from Rocky Mtn. power - I'm leaning towards cutting them off entirely.

If I'm not mistaken SLCC has started a program specifically to train folks to install solar equipment, that should make the installation price drop significantly.

wrz
Phoenix, AZ

Don't get too excited. The company will simply raise rates on all users to make up the difference.

Susie1715!
French lick, IN

Dew, we installed 14 panels on our roof for 6500 wholesale through a company in CA. With the rebates it will be 30% off that amount. We did the install ourselves. With microinverters it is very simple and the panels have a 25 year warranty. If you are willing to do the research you can find actual data reported from people with panels in place that will show the payback. With 14 panels we have dropped our bill by a third and will see payoff in five years. Here in indiana we set it up with Ohio to sell our srec credits and will receive $50 every six weeks.

CorporateHeadquarters
Beverly Hills, CA

Aug 30
If we all don't watch out now we could all be heading for a day when electricity was generated home by home, neighborhood by neighborhood, community by community with some new Green Type electricty discovery that Rocky Mountain Power is not able to stop at all. Then watch out. What would we be coming to? A land where water was fresh, clean and abundant? Where Air was pure clean and healthy? Then the do-gooders would work on new agriculture with no chemicals and lots of different plants and animals and birds running around. We'd have deal with more honeybees flying around, and butterfly's.

No, Rocky Mountain Power is right on this one. You gotta stop a new future in its tracks today. And you gotta fight the good fight as a Big Corporation trying to earn more profits, less spending and lower takes.

Remember, the Evil of a wonderful future for human being people will triumph if good Corporations do nothing.

CorporateHeadquarters
Beverly Hills, CA

Aug 30.
Come on folks, American Big Corporations and Energy Corporations like Coal, Oil, Natural Gas and Nuclear need more help from all of us. We just gotta chip in and do our part to see that these Corporations get profit from their hard work, and playing by the rules. Energy Utility Corporations like Rocky Mountain Power ought to get all their money back right away. Just think how much their attorney and spoakesman fees amounted working to get the SUN TAX approved.

K
Mchenry, IL

It is as ethical to tax the sun as it is to tax natural gas and coal.

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