Renewable energy advocates decry proposed surcharge for solar panels

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  • Million Bluffdale, UT
    July 28, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    Danish American wrote:
    Just wondering when the earth stopped producing coal, oil, & natural gas. Can anyone tell me. If you can't, then you would have to consider them renewal, too.

    The answer was not when they stopped but when we started taking more than was being made. It was probably around the time the United States started running up the National Debt.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    July 26, 2014 9:50 p.m.


    Why am I being charged a fee by you to sell you something in return? There is no sense in it. Yes, I'm using your lines... but you are buying it. You don't have to buy it. You are under no obligation. If the power company is getting something, then what's the problem?

    The real problem is that we are in a 'something for nothing' world now, where no one can see sense anymore until they are hit with a hard reminder of it.

  • Tesseract South Jordan, UT
    July 26, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    As a solar electric homeowner, I wanted to add a few facts that have not been mentioned:
    1) RMP does not pay us directly for the surplus power that we produce; rather they credit our accounts each month.
    2) The PSA allows RMP to zero my account balance (and confiscate any remaining credits) once a year, in March. (Poor public policy, since it discourages us from installing anything beyond bare-minimum solar capacity.)
    3) Since us solar-electric producers are producing max power during RMP's high-demand period each day, we are somewhat reducing their need for additional capital investments in additional generation and infrastructure capacity.

    In light of #2 above, I sincerely question the need for an additional surcharge on top of the annual windfall that RMP makes from the account-zeroing.

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 8:46 p.m.

    Scientists say there are could be billions and billions of solar systems in the universe. I'm glad the prices are coming down so even the poorest of persons can own their very own solar system.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    July 24, 2014 9:29 p.m.

    This is a desperate attempt by RMP to hold on to their Monopoly and ensure higher Utility bills.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 24, 2014 9:22 p.m.

    LD_ Lib

    you do know that liberals, like yourself, are DEMANDING the removal of hydro-electric dams, don't you? Many have already been taken out. I'm curious, why the double standard?

    You have a problem with drivers of electric cars helping to pay for the roads they use? Spoken like a true liberal who wants to live off someone else's efforts.

    But, yeah, go ahead, stop subsidizing farmers - I have no problem with that.

    As far as giving the CEO a bigger bonus - you DO know that as a REGULATED utility, there are controls on that, don't you? Of course, acknowledging such would negate your preconceived bias.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 24, 2014 6:26 p.m.


    yes, that is why it is called "net metering"

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 24, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    If a moral compass was being used --

    RMP would be raising the rates for those using dirty, fossil fuels,
    REDUCING the costs of those making the world better.


    Is this really just another way for a business to increase income,
    while decreasing operating costs
    thereby giving the CEO's a bigger and bigger pay raise for finding a way to stick it to the consumers and laughing all the way to the bank?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 24, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    What's next?

    Charging ELECTRIC Vehicle owners a monthly fee,
    because they stay connected to roads and aren't paying enough in Gas Taxes?

    I know,
    Let's stop subsizing Farmers,
    and start charging THEM a monthly fee for taking energy from the Sun,
    and converting it into Food!

    What about those Hydro-electric Dams!
    They produce Free, Green, Re-newable energy as well,
    and put power on the grid!

    How much is Rocky Mountain Power charging THEM for to hook up to the grid,
    And RMP is buying and re-selling from them, just like they do home-owners?!

    I'm curious?
    Why the double standard?

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    July 24, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    Can the person who creates extra electricity charge RMP when the flow of the electricity goes to the grid? Just curious. Does anyone know?

  • Evets Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 24, 2014 2:27 p.m.

    I agree this is a tax added to the fees already on our utility bills to cover infrastructure. I don't have any panels yet but I plan to sometime down the road like many others. This fee is the first of many to discourage solar power in residential hands.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 24, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    The reason is quite simple. RMP sells a product (electricity). Some consumers have realized they can get that same product for free by installing some equipment. RMP is a business, not a charity - they don't like competition (especially when the competition is giving away the product for free). RMP will do anything they can to make the competition more difficult or expensive to use.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 24, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    At first I thought this was a stupid idea, but then I thought about it some more. This is the first article I've read that really describes what the surcharge is for.

    let's see....

    who can afford to put solar panels on their homes, the rich or the poor?

    If the rich put solar panels on their homes and thereby reduce their contribution to RMP's fixed costs, who will then see their bills increase the most to cover the fixed costs, the rich or the poor?

    The surcharge will help RMP cover their fixed costs, and indirectly help the poor keep their power bills from rising as much as they otherwise would.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    July 24, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    Just wondering when the earth stopped producing coal, oil, & natural gas. Can anyone tell me. If you can't, then you would have to consider them renewal, too.

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    July 24, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    If you went totally off the grid, that is no connection to a power company or their power lines, then you shouldn't be charged a fee. On the other hand, if you stay connected to the grid and send power down the power companies lines from your solar panels, then you should pay a fee to use their lines to sell power back to the power company.

    The power company, whom ever it may be, has to build and maintain the power lines. A small fee for someone who wants to sell excess solar or wind power generated by a resident and uses the power companies lines to move the electricity they are selling is reasonable.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    July 23, 2014 8:07 p.m.


    I agree. If someone converted their home to be more energy efficient and use less electricity, which has the same net affect as solar panels, there is no extra charge?

    This is an anti-alternative power fight, not a conservation fight. RMP is trying to attack consumer competition, with the anti-consumer (pro business) State of Utah's permission.

    Companies can build solar power to sale to RMP for both to profit at the expense of the consumers, but if consumers wants to produce their own power the State, and RMP gang up on them.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    July 23, 2014 7:57 p.m.

    As someone that doesn't have any solar panels, but sees the potential for installing a system in the next 3-4 years, the RMP proposal makes no sense. Someone puts up one or 1000 solar panels, they are charged the same amount. This is a tax by a non-governmental authority that has no thought process or forethought by the State "Consumer Advocates," or the power company.

    If you look at your bill their is already a connection fee, and infrastructure fees... This is an excuse to charge more to those that are trying to help with Utah's hazardous air. If you ask them, RMP will tell you that people with solar generation "can afford it otherwise they couldn't buy them."

    Don't discourage healthy lifestyles.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    July 23, 2014 5:41 p.m.

    I agree. The surcharge is goofy and wrong-headed.

    How about if Rocky Mtn. Power just takes down all their ads on television telling people to conserve and use that money to further their profit picture instead?

    Rocky Mtn. Power doesn't even pay those who produce solar electricity as much as they pay for power generated through traditional means.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 23, 2014 5:38 p.m.

    Why would RMP be punishing those who went green?

    Who lobbied them to do this?

    This is an outrage for the entire state! Not just those with solar panels.

    I demand our AG look into this immediately. If he wants to return integrity and trust into his office then Reyes must overturn this massive slap in the face to Utahns everywhere.