Rocky Mountain Power has proposed a rate increase for new solar customers who install after December 9th, 2016. Rocky Mountain Power has asked the Public Service Commission to increase service rates for any new solar customers that would offset Rocky Mountain Power’s net metering costs or what they consider their “large subsidy."
According to the net metering study done by Rocky Mountain Power, net metering customers (solar customers) pay about $400 less per year than the actual cost of maintenance, customer service, and more.
Rocky Mountain Power’s sister company in Nevada had similar rate hikes passed last year which caused rooftop solar installation to drop by 99%. The way we see it, Rocky Mountain Power is trying to protect it’s profits as residential solar has become viable and is threatening a big part of their business. Residential rooftop solar in Utah has grown from 1,500 homes in 2012 to a projected 17,200 by the end of the 2016. Each watt of energy produced, consumed and sold back by solar customers is profit lost by Rocky Mountain Power.
Rocky Mountain power is proposing a three part rate structure that would include a fixed monthly charge, a demand charge and an energy charge.
"These charges are based on the specific costs that the Company incurs to provide electric service to net metering customers. The fixed monthly charge includes costs associated with connecting to the system that do not vary with usage like accounting, billing, customer service, meters and line transformers. The demand charge includes costs associated with the use of the distribution, generation, and transmission systems and reflects the maximum or peak load requirements of net metering customers. The energy charge reflects variable costs related to the energy net metering customers consume including net power costs and a portion of generation and transmission infrastructure." - Rocky Mountain Power
Essentially, Rocky Mountain Power is trying to make back the money that is being lost from solar customers by adding fees in an effort to discourage other customers from switching to solar. By shifting the costs of “maintaining” the grid, Rocky Mountain Power is protecting itself from shifting the cost to its non solar customers which would increase the price of traditional power and make solar an even better option for your home energy needs.
What if you want to get the benefits of the current net metering agreement with Rocky Mountain Power? Get signed up before December 9th, 2016 and you’ll be grandfathered into the old net metering agreement. That means no increased fees, shorter payback times, and more savings. Give us a call and we’ll get your paperwork submitted so that you can take advantage of the better net metering agreement.