Early adopters always get the greatest benefits of solar powering their homes. As state utility companies change their rules, existing solar customers are “grand-fathered” with their existing solar credit program, while brand new solar customers receive a new Net Energy Metering program (usually less beneficial to customer).
Idaho Power serves about 1,200 solar users, but across the country, there’s pushback from utility companies on renewables, specifically with the net metering process. Net metering is a system in which solar panels or other renewable energy generators are connected to the power grid and any surplus energy that’s generated is sold back to the power company, allowing customers to offset utility costs. Stephanie McCurdy, a communications specialist with Idaho Power, says the offset cost doesn’t provide an accurate value of what it costs to maintain things like power lines, transformers and other infrastructure.