Solar customers should pay

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  • ExecutorIoh West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 3:18 p.m.

    With due respect to Mr. North, many of the comments are taken from Rocky Mtn Power's slideshow presentation and doesn't tell the whole story. RMP is, at the core, a business and local solar power threatens that business.

    I own a solar system and had it sized to power at least 100% of my house's needs. Eight of the twelve months during the year, I generated more power than I use and despite what RMP says, I generate the power when I use it. Most of the electricity I produce is done on summer afternoons when I am using my air conditioner. Should I pay for my fair share of the infrastructure? Sure. But I feel like I am doing that plus some. During the eight months that I generate a surplus, I still pay a $5 connection charge and a $2 min bill charge, all the while I am giving RMP electricity. Does there need to be a huge system to receive my power? No, it goes across the yard to my neighbor's house where RMP sells it to them.

  • Sitting Under a Tree Grantsville, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    IMO, the real long-term solution is a change to how utilities are metered and sold. UPSC should solve the problem by adopting rules for all utilities, which charge independently for the delivery system and the product delivered. This way, anyone who connects equally shares the costs of the delivery system. Anyone who consumes the product pays for what they consume. Anyone who provides product is paid for what they provide. A side benefit would be increased transparency into what utilities are, and are not, spending to build and maintain the delivery infrastructure.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    To "cmsense" the net metering program is a membership in a club that sells power using the RMP system. Anybody that doesn't want to be part of the club that sells power on the grid doesn't pay that fee.

    You owe RMP more because you cost them more. Yes, by selling power back to the RMP, it costs them money because they don't make any money off of the power they buy from you.

    The bigger question is why should RMP engage in a business activity that will make them lose money?

    Net metering isn't something they started to appease the green power movement. It is something they started to add more power to the system.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    @ Redshirt

    Why should there be a "membership fee" for net metering? I'm ok with a "membership fee" if all customers are that are connected to RMP have to pay the fee. Solar power users spend thousands of dollars of their own money, not RMP's to set up their systems, so why should they be penalized or singled out? The vast majority do pay RMP a significant bill. If I'm 30% self reliant but my bill is still higher than a lot of people without a solar power system, why do I owe RMP anything more than non solar customers with lower bills than mine?
    If you put extra insulation in your attic, build an energy efficiant home, partially supplement your heat with a wood burning stove or south facing windows or electric heating and your gas bill isn't as high as your neighbors, should you be singled out for an extra fee? People should be applauded for using our natural resources wisely. If there is a connection to a natural gas fee, everyone needs to pay it, not just the person who is extra thoughtful. You shouldn't be penalized for being self reliant.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" what are you talking about? The way the laws are that govern power distribution prevent us from having free markets for power. I would love to see a free market for power. Instead we have a fascist system where private companies are managed by the government.

    The net metering could be a great free market solution if RMP wasn't forced by the government to buy power from people for the same price that they sell it. Let RMP buy power from residential power producers at the wholesale rate, then sell it at the retail rate.

    Please explain how I don't support free markets? I love the free market and it could make the power system better if it was allowed to operate as a free market. Your fascist approach to power is just now starting to show its ugly face.

    To "cmsense" it is fair because everybody who produces power pays the same price regardless of how much they produce or use. If it makes it easier, think of it as a membership fee for net metering (sort of like Costco for power sales).

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 5, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    Orem, UT

    They key? Competition.
    RMP doesn't want it. But we need it. "

    So what you are saying is rather than having the stable "regulated" energy source you have right now, you would prefer to have your home energy cost fluctuate like we see in other energy markets. That your rate for electricity increased 10 to 20 percent in summer because of increased demand - or perceived shortages? You need to be really careful about what you ask for.

    Airlines used to be a regulated industry. You hardly ever saw carriers fail, and service was far superior to what we "enjoy" today. Now - in a derogated market, we have random pricing, carriers perpetually in financial distress, and service that is marginally better than a UTA bus with wings on it.

    So when you ask for a unregulated business model, think really carefully what you might get as part of the total package. It isn't as clear of a picture as you imagine.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    By this logic, then

    1. Rural customers should be charged more because the infrastructure costs to deliver electricity to them is significantly more than in urban centers.

    2. Customers who use natural gas or propane for heat over electricity should pay more because such substitutes reduce power needs.

    3. Customers who own diesel generators for power should pay more because they too reduce their power needs.

    The solution to this situation is to de-couple infrastructure and power use costs that Questar Gas instituted years ago. Charge everyone a flat 'connection fee' for access to the grid and variable fee for the amount of power actually used by each customer.

    The reality is that utilities' business model will change in the future from being "one-way suppliers" of power to "two-way networks" of power management brokers where they'll act as "back up batteries" for customers, many of which will produce their own power or drastically cut their need for it through modern green/efficient building design. That is, utilities' infrastructure will be more important than their power production.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 6:56 a.m.

    If there is a connection to RMP fee, everyone should have to pay it and then the rate that everyone pays for electricity needs to come down to compensate. In that case, RMP should be required to pay the same rate they charge their customers per Kwh to solar customers who are net positive at the end of the year. Its only fair.

    They think somehow charging only solar customers a fee and come to the size of their fee using the "average" solar customers bill and how that is reduced. Some people live is studios and some in mansions. Some people have 1 kw systems and some over 7 kw, so how is charging the 1 kw customer and the 7 kw customer the same solar penalty fair?

    If I have a small solar system but my bill is larger than Joe Smo without a solar system, how am I not being fair to RMP and why should I be singled out for a fee?

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 4:27 a.m.

    It is simply amazing how a simple item like charging solar users a fee gets turned into a political playground. This is a story about Rocky Mtn Power wanting to charge more for some who connect to the grid but don't use their services and in fact get paid full retail for power they contribute to the system, not wholesale that they pay everyone else.
    Utah's big power plants in Delta, Vernal and Emery County do not contribute anything to Salt Lake's winter woes so blame someone else.
    And to finally set the record straight, RMP is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the company controlled by Warren Buffett. Buffett is the guy that talks about his secretary paying more in taxes than he does and is willing to pay more. NOT!!
    Every year RMP protests their property taxes here in Emery County and every year everybody gets less money. This is also the very same company that is putting it to the last union coal mine here in Utah.
    So the truth is Warren Buffett doesn't want to pay more taxes and he hates the unions, sounds like a true hero to the Democrats.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:08 p.m.

    Re 2 bits

    Who would pay? Electricity rates would be raised on everyone so that the power company would continue to make a fair profit.

    But people who use solar would not be targeted with extra fees. That would be stupid.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 8:56 p.m.

    Curmudgeon is right. Just because you own solar panels and spent thousands of dollars for self reliance, clean air or energy efficiency or whatever doesn't mean our bill is zero. There are 1 kilowatt systems and there are 4 or more kilowatt systems, but I would say most owners of solar systems pay a bill and some a sizeable bill to RMP. Why should solar panel owners be singled out for a special fee? What about second home owners who don't use much energy that month, or a particularly efficient energy users? How about small apartment owners? Its ridiculous that RMP wants to impose this fee, but if there is a fee for having too small of a bill, everyone should have to pay that has a "too small bill for RMP" or "not enough money to RMP" assessment. I'm sure many solar owners already pay RMP plenty.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 6:34 p.m.

    Orem, UT

    They key? Competition.
    RMP doesn't want it. But we need it.

    1:42 p.m. Aug. 4, 2014


    Great post!

    BTW --
    RedShirt may "say" he's for Free Markets, Capitalism, less regulation, and 'competition' -- Ya-dah Ya-dah...


    By his very own posts,
    When rubber hits the road,
    we can all clearly see he really is NOT.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 4, 2014 3:12 p.m.

    To "FreedomFighter41" if you want clean energy, why not go nuclear? Nuclear can supply power 24/7 regardless of the weather conditions. The fuel can recycled, and it takes up less land than a solar or wind farm. You don't have the noise pollution that wind power causes, and you don't destroy animals like you do with solar.

    Why not go nuclear for clean, reliable, renewable energy? We have enough fuel rods buried to power the US for centuries.

    To "Flashback" worse than just Mav's hatred of Koch brothers, he doesn't even know that George Soros owns RMP.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    Mav, your Koch brothers conspiracy theory just plain cracks me up. You know if Geneva Steel was still working we could blame this theory on the smog affecting you. But now we can't do that.

    Just like the left. Blame everything on the Koch's. Of course I blame everything the democrats do on Soros, so we're kind of even.

    Bottom line, no extra fee.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    I think these people who think they should have to pay NOTHING to use the municipal power infrastructure (only pay for the energy they use)... should get what they want. Nothing from the power company. And if they want power when it's dark, or when it's overcast, they can pay for their own wire to be stretched from the power source to their home, and pay to maintain it on their own. And be on their own only paying for the power the company provides them (but not the infrastructure to deliver it to every home in the State).

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:31 p.m.

    Don't any of us remember what our valley is like during the winter inversions?

    RMP should be encouraging not punishing solar power users. And if they're going to charge a new fee it should apply to all not just to solar users.

    @ Redshirt

    I don't think your argument has a leg to stand on. There's no reason why Germany is outproducing us so badly. There's just no excuse for it. The future is in renewables, not dirty filthy energy. Besides, competition is good reddy you've said it many times. Unfortunately, it seems like competition when it comes to solar energy is bad. I wish you'd make up your mind and be consistent.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    To "Henderson" go back and look at the German Energy Consumption, and not just the domestic production. Germany produces 1/10th the amount of green energy that the US does. The US produces about 4 TWH of power, compared to 3.6 TWH that Germany uses. Tell us is 13% of 4 TWH greater or less than 1.5% of 3.6 TWH?

    If competition is good, then let solar and wind compete with coal, gas, and nuclear on equal grounds. Get rid of the massive subsidies that wind and solar receive, make them equal to nuclear. I would guarantee that if you cut subsidies that wind and solar would die within a year.

    Why do we need to go to power generation systems that will either raise our taxes to subsidize or else are too expensive for the poor to afford? That is what you get with wind and solar.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 1:42 p.m.

    @ Redshirt

    Had you actually read my post you'd see one source cited, eia (energy information agency).

    However, since you insist on other sources, I shall happily oblige,

    The cia website created and maintained by the United States of America and the iea are sources that I used.

    However, for something more simple, I would Google "German renewable energy." There are articles from Time magazine, the NY Times, Wash Post, and the Wall Street Journal. Even Forbes magazine (is this a liberal magazine?) in their article: "How Opposite Energy Policies Turned The Fukushima Disaster Into A Loss For Japan And A Win For Germany" said:

    "So why do Germany, with 25% renewable electricity in 2013, and Denmark, with at least 47%, have Europe’s most reliable electricity, about ten times more reliable than America’s? These countries, like three others in Europe (none very rich in hydropower) that used roughly half-renewable electricity in 2013—Spain 45%, Scotland 46%, Portugal 58%—simply require fair grid access and competition."

    They key? Competition.

    RMP doesn't want it. But we need it.

    Do you need more information or are you good for now?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 4, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    If you have a wire connecting your house to the grid, you should pay. There is a cost to maintaining that access, and you need to be prepared to share in that cost. Just like for enterprises, if you need standby power, compute capability, or data storage - you pay for that capability. Even if you are 100 Percent self generating - if you are relying on the utility for your backup power - you need to help pay the cost of keep up that infrastructure.

    Now the utilities need to be reasonable here - and not gouge - but please, don't expect to have access with out paying part of this cost of maintaining that access.

    Nothing in life if free - including your connection to the grid.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 4, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    To "Henderson" you are wrong. According to various German web sites, they get 1.5% of their power from renewable sources for a total of about 54 GWH (according to German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy). The US gets about 13% of its power from similar sources, for a total of about 527 GWH (according to the DOE). The US has nearly 10 times the green energy production that Germany does.

    Please state your sources since they are in complete contradiction to the US and German government official figures.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    @Mike in Texas,

    If you are a really good solar power dude... you would use no power from RMP, so you would pay zero dollars to RMP. But you still use their infrastructure. And you want RMP there (as a backup).

    Now.. if enough people got good at it like you... what would happen to municipal power?

    You guessed it... it would fall into disrepair and not be reliable (like some places in Africa and Iraq during the war, and other countries that neglected their power infrastructure for various reasons).


    It's ironic that the two sides have completely traded places on this topic...

    The Right is pushing for collective social responsibility, to keep municipal systems funded and viable... while the solar fans (usually on the left) want the government out of their business, and and say, "leave me alone I'll do it myself"... and "Why do I have to pay for something so YOU can use it" (compare to welfare, etc)... etc.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    Germany produces 6.5 times more solar energy than the United States. They now get 26 percent of their energy from renewable resources. Compare that to just 13 percent here in the United States (2 percent comes from solar). You can get these numbers from the eia website. Just Google it. These reports aren't that difficult to find. Unless all you do is read Heritage and Cato nonsense.

    The other complains I hear a lot are about solar energy competing with coal. So? What's wrong with that? Competition is good, unless you're a monopoly and are afraid of what competition might do to your profits. Last I checked, we lived in a capitalist society.

    What's wrong with a little bit of competition? If RMP can't handle it then maybe it's time for another more innovative and sleeker company to take its place. Everyone else has felt the changing economy. Why shouldn't they have to change?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 4, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    To "cjb" the issue is not that the people have solar panels. I could install enough solar panels to power my house through the day and I wouldn't have to pay RMP anything more than the power that I do use that comes from them.

    The fee is for the RMP "Net Metering" program, which buys power from residents with solar or wind generators. RMP has to buy power from residents for the same price that they sell it to residents. Is it fair that RMP has to maintain power lines and buy power from people who don't contribute anything towards the infrastructure?

    To "LDS Liberal" are you and your ilk going to get it through your heads. This is not a connection fee, but is a fee charged by RMP to sell your excess electricity? If you don't want to sell, then you don't pay the fee. Think of eBay, but for electrons.

    To "The Real Maverick" that is a lie RMP is not owned by the Koch brothers. It is owned by George Soros. That's right, your favorite liberal billionaire.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 4, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    @Curmudgeon – “Where is RMP's "natural" monopoly there?”

    Sure, and when this starts happening on a significant scale (is it… where?) their monopolistic pricing power will decline accordingly.

    And given the rate of scientific advance on individual (and portable) power generation, we should expect this to be the case a few decades from now… hopefully sooner. Of course oligarchs like the Koch brothers will no doubt attempt to “buy” portions of the atmosphere in order to charge us all for the privilege of getting sunshine.

    I guess the upside of their “owning the atmosphere” would be we can sue them to clean up the excess carbon, and adding staggering punitive damages (given their role in causing the problem) would make that all the more satisfying.

    @lost in DC – “Tyler D Your point?”

    Nevermind… it seems to have been lost on you… twice.

  • Mike in Texas Cedar City, Utah
    Aug. 4, 2014 12:03 p.m.

    Everyone who uses the utilities for power pays their share of "infrastructure costs based upon their actual usage. Why should there be a special fee for those that use less because they are using solar power. The writers argument does not seem to make much sense.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Tyler D:

    It would help if you got up to speed on the facts. The Utah Public Service Commission has not yet ruled on whether the solar surcharge will be allowed. That is why there is still a vigorous debate going on. But being from Idaho, maybe you were not aware of that.

    As to natural monopolies, what if I install solar panels that produce twice the power I need, and run a line from my panels to my neighbor's house, and he pays me at half the rate RMP would charge for the same power? Where is RMP's "natural" monopoly there? Same principle as micro-hydro power.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    Isn't this a bit like the Garbage company charging those who recycle a fee,
    they provide a service and drive their trucks through your neighborhood and past your house even if you don't have any garbage put out?

    When I built my house -- "I" had to pay for the powerline and hook-up.

    Why to I have to pay a monthly fee in addition to something I've already paid cash-on-the-barrelhead for?

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    2 Bits:

    Nice straw man argument. Nobody thinks private solar power will replace RMP any time soon. As long as RMP maintains a grid and people connect to it, then the costs of maintaining the grid will have to be borne by the customers. The issue here is, why should customers who use solar power have to bear a proportionately larger share of maintaining the grid than the customers who are energy wasters, or the customers who practice energy efficiency through other means? Why shouldn't the cost of grid maintenance be shared equally among all subscribers?

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Aug. 4, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    Tnanks for the explanation Maverick. Sounds like RMP is gouging in an effort to discourage the use of solar energy. What a shame.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    Mitch McConnell was just doing what he thought was best for the country – too bad he failed.

    I think you are premature in saying the lawsuit has been launched.

    “Republicans act like their victims of unprecedented attacks from the left”

    I do not understand what you are saying. Do you mean “they’re” instead of “their”?

    How do you console a grammar fanatic? You pat him on the back and say “their, there, they’re”

    Actually the attacks from the left are not unprecedented, just continuing.

    And yeah, I remember Newt – slick willy actually worked with Newt to reduce the deficit (once he wetted his finger and held it into the political winds to see that is what people really wanted. As opposed to BO, who started his misadministration by declaring the GOP was welcome to come along, but they’d have to ride in the back of the bus.

    Tyler D
    Your point?

    BO and harry were spewing divisiveness LOOOONNNNGGGGG before the Kochs came along. So by your analogy, BO and harry should be punished much more severely than the Kochs.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:37 a.m.


    Where did you get your factoid that Germany produces 5 times more solar energy than the USA? Sources please....

    If you Google "Where does Germany get their electricity"...

    "Germany is one of the largest consumers of energy in the world. In 2009, it consumed energy from the following sources:

    Oil 34.6%
    Bituminous coal 11.1%
    Lignite 11.4%
    Natural gas 21.7%
    Nuclear power 11.0%
    Hydro- and wind power 1.5%
    Renewable energy is more present in the domestically produced energy, since Germany imports about two-thirds of its energy. This however is offset by exports of energy.

    Germany is the fifth-largest consumer of oil in the world. Russia, Norway, and the United Kingdom are the largest exporters of oil to Germany, in that order. Germany is the third-largest consumer of natural gas in the world.

    Because of its rich coal deposits it has a long tradition of fuelling its economy with coal. Germany is still is the fourth-largest consumer of coal in the world.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    @Curmudgeon – “Actually, RMP is a regulated monopoly…”

    Yes, and what does it tell you (in terms of who is in whose pocket) that the utilities commission is allowing them to charge this fee.

    LDS Liberal got it exactly right – anyone connected should be charged a connection fee.

    And your understanding of monopolies is a bit flawed – utilities are regulated precisely BECAUSE they are natural monopolies. And there is no other way to connect to the power grid except through your local power company, so your analogy to telecomm is off base.

    @lost in DC – “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.”

    When I was around 9 yo I threw a rock and broke a window. When my Dad asked me about it the only response I gave was that my brother threw a rock too. When I asked him later why I was grounded for longer than normal he said it was because rather than taking responsibility for my own actions, I tried to deflect blame.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    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?

  • Atlas Smashed Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    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?

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    @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.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    @ 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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    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.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    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.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    @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…

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    @ ECR

    "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.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    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?

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Aug. 4, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 4, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    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?

  • Atlas Smashed Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 4, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    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.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    Somebody has been listening to too much Koch propaganda.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    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?

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 7:31 a.m.

    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.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    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.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 6:31 a.m.


  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    Aug. 4, 2014 5:40 a.m.

    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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 1:47 a.m.

    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.

  • Nunn24 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 1:38 a.m.

    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.