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Sustainable Design for the 21st Century

Power Utilities Pushing to Raise Rates Because of Surge in Solar Installations!

By Brent Sauser

good news bad newsYet another story regarding the GOOD and BAD news from installing sustainable, renewable systems to your home.  KSL.com reports that Rocky Mountain Power has announced a “rate increase request of $76.3 million, or 4 percent, from the Utah Public Service Commission.  If approved, the typical customer would pay an additional $3.73 per month for electricity.  The request also included a $4.25 monthly fee for “net-metering” customers.” 

CLICK HERE to read the KSL.com article, written by Jasen Lee, dated January 19, 2014.

UGE Hybrid Inverter 01Net-metering is a term used to describe customer-generated power, usually from solar panels or wind turbines.  Utah’s largest state electric utility is crying foul due to the 2,200 (and growing) customers who are producing over 14.6 megawatts of power.  They are losing a considerable amount of revenue and are raising overall electricity rates to offset the loss.  Those who have converted to self-generated, renewable energy are also being hit with an additional $4.25 per month to “help offset some of the fixed costs to supply electric service to net-metering customers and receive the extra power they produce.”

Sustainable Design 5What is happening in Utah is occurring in many other parts of the United States.  Utility companies are working fast to raise rates to help offset the loss of revenue from net-metering customers.  The good news is that the movement to renewable energy must be happening at a significant enough pace to instill fear in the local electrical utility.  People are taking advantage of the financial incentives to build Net Zero.  However, the dark side of any significant transition is the nagging pressure to appease old, outdated, and subsidized technology.  Their control as the ONLY source of electrical power no longer is universal.  Thousands of upstart customers are turning to the freedom that comes from installing their very own sustainable Money clip art 4personal power plant on site.  The power utilities can see the threat to their government supported monopoly and are working fast to justify higher rates . . . even for those who assist in providing power to the utility . . . the net-metering customer.  Why are net-metering customers having to pay an additional fee for providing electrical energy back into the utility grid?

These issues, of course, will need to be sorted out over time.  But, I am confident that as the typewriter did not prevail over the word processor and computer . . . renewable energy and sources that provide it will win the day.   However, the typewriter industry was not backed as a government supported monopolies.  This will take time!

green building 5Consider this part of the growing pains as we leave behind the 20th Century answers and replace them with sustainable, renewable solutions fitting for the 21st Century. 

Financial incentives end in 2016.  Start planning now for your renewable system installation. 

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