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Idaho Power Seeks Changes for Solar Customer Compensation

Traditional state utility companies are scrambling to address rising Infrastructure and maintenance costs. Its an old system and cannot even compete with the simplicity, effectiveness and lower costs of distributed energy systems (solar, wind…etc).

Image Credit: Idaho Power

By KIMBERLEE KRUESI, Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Power said Thursday it wants permission from state regulators to lump people who install rooftop solar panels starting next year into a new class of energy providers, and may ask later for permission to charge them more money than current solar producers pay to access the state’s power grid and buy electricity when their panels are not producing.

Idaho Power’s move follows a national trend of many other states also considering changing net metering policies as usage in the system has exponentially increased.

About 1,400 Idahoans are enrolled in the system, primarily with rooftop solar panels. But Idaho Power has said the current system was not designed to account for homeowners who installed their own solar panels — resulting in traditional power customers being forced to make up any budget shortfalls.

Idaho : Concerned Residents

Sunday, Aug. 13, an Idaho Power spokesman explained their proposal to eliminate home solar power installation in the future by telling us that it costs $65 a month to provide power to residential customers and that it is unfair to net metering customers to not pay that amount. I recently installed solar power on my roof and in the process calculated my average monthly costs in the preceding years. It came to an average of slightly over $60 a month. Isn’t that interesting? Is Idaho Power proclaiming that the cost of generating power is nothing and that the whole cost of power is their infrastructure? The Nevada power companies two years ago managed to convince their legislature of this idea and so killed the home solar installation industry in that state. It would appear that Idaho Power is hoping to do the same in Idaho. We know that the power utilities have been in fear of individual power generation for 20 plus years and now that it is coming to fruition they will try anything to stop it cold. Appeals to fairness will probably work no matter how they cook their books to get those results.

ILSE SCHREINER, BOISE | Source: Idaho Statesman

Tuesday, Sept.  26, 2017The Idaho PUC’s job is protecting the state and its utility ratepayers. Idaho Power’s unyielding monopoly controls Treasure Valley’s electricity. Idaho Power’s 20-year plan includes no renewables although their own data say renewables are cheaper than fracked gas. Why? This climate destructive approach exists because there are no green incentives in Idaho Power’s compensation plan for executives. They fear change. Their propaganda comes straight from the oil barons’ ALEC handbook. Idaho Power’s net metering plan now before the PUC is designed to kill rooftop solar, just as Idaho Power was allowed to kill industrial solar and wind.

Under the proposal, current net metering customers would be grandfathered into their existing rates for hooking into the electrical grid and buying power when they are not producing it. Any new customers producing their own solar power would be funneled into the pending new class as of Jan. 1.

See the full story here


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