Source: CVDaily Feed
Rocky Mountain Power, one of the biggest energy suppliers in Utah, recently met with the Utah Public Service Commission to talk about the state’s pricing system for alternative energy usage in residential homes.
As the Utah Public Radio reports, state lawmakers and energy administrators have been struggling to make alternative energy sources available to homeowners while also creating a fair and effective pricing system.
Solar power energy has become one of the fastest growing alternative energy sources, not only because solar power provides a guaranteed return on investment, but also because the costs of solar panel installations have decreased substantially. In fact, the average cost of solar panels in the U.S. has gone down by 80% since 2008.
But Rocky Mountain Power, according to local news reports, seems to be moving in a different direction. Because the corporation essentially holds a monopoly over alternative energy throughout Utah, they have been able to demand price increases from a growing number of customers.
UPR notes that about 3,000 residents in Utah now use solar panels and/or wind generators for electricity. When there isn’t enough sun or wind to produce energy naturally, these residents turn to Rocky Mountain Power for electricity.
A system called net-metering is currently in place in Utah, as well as in 43 other states across the country. Net-metering allows residents to use their own solar panels and wind generators, without any additional costs, unless they need to turn to Rocky Mountain for extra energy.
In other words, when residents can rely 100% on solar or wind energy, the biggest power corporation in Utah isn’t bringing in as much revenue.
Rocky Mountain Power is hoping to change this with a fixed fee, which would require homeowners to pay the same amount of money each month, regardless of how much energy is coming from personal solar panels or wind generators.
Utah lawmakers shot down a similar proposal last August, but because the number of homeowners using solar power has increased substantially in the past year, it’s possible that the newest proposal could pass.
A three-day public hearing is scheduled for October 6, and officials are hoping to determine an effective way to measure and bill energy consumption during the hearing.