Because Rocky Mountain Power is a monopoly, it has to request permission from the Public Service Commission if it wants to change its prices (aka electricity rates). We at Utah Clean Energy want your electricity rates to reflect good policy—that is, we want to see price signals (for all you economics geeks out there) that encourage smart energy behaviors, like energy efficiency, electric plug-in vehicles, and rooftop solar.
In August 2014, Rocky Mountain Power's proposed $4.65 solar fee was denied by the Public Service Commission pending a cost-benefit analysis of solar. The Public Service Commission agreed with Utah Clean Energy that Utah's net metering law requires an evidentiary finding that the costs of Utah's net metering outweigh its benefits, or vice versa, before the Commission can approve a rate change specifically for net metering customers. The Commission opened an investigation into the costs and benefits of RMP's net metering program, which is now underway.
Net Metering Evaluation Phase One:
RMP is currently conducting a study of residential customer electricity usage (timing and quantity of consumption) in order to compare solar customers with their non-solar counterparts. The Company is evaluating whether solar customers should be treated differently (and be charged different prices for electricity) than non-solar customers. Rocky Mountain Power's comments on this ongoing study provide an indication of their perspective on the rest of the net metering evaluation: namely, that the utility has no plan for evaluating the benefits of rooftop solar, but rather plans to narrowly collect data to support extra fees and treating solar customers as a separate customer class.
|Staff Attorney Sophie Hayes looking inexplicably happy despite the giant stack of rate case testimony ahead of her.|
The debate over Rocky Mountain Powers' highly controversial proposal for a $4.65 solar fee included 6 rounds of testimony, countless meetings and thousands of community advocates. If you are interested, you can check out all of the related testimony and documents here including the testimony of Sarah Wright and Rick Gilliam on behalf of Utah Clean Energy.
In July, Utah Clean Energy submitted the last round of testimony followed by two days Public Service Commission hearing: cross examining witnesses and undergoing cross-examination regarding our testimony advocating for a fair shake for rooftop solar.
The public hearing followed and we were thrilled with the amazing turnout! Approximately 60+ citizens participated in the public hearing, voicing opposition to the proposed solar fee. These participants included Utahns with and without solar, retirees, doctors, parents, businesses and concerned citizens of all ages.