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Public Service Commission Rejects Proposed Solar Metering Fee

Rocky Mountain Power

The Utah Public Service Commission rejected on Friday a request from Rocky Mountain Power to institute a metering fee of more than four dollars a month on customers who generate their own power trough solar panels.  Commission officials ruled that the private power provider did not present enough evidence to prove the proposed fee was just and reasonable.  Matt Pacenza is a policy director with Heal Utah, one of several groups opposing the fee. He says Rocky Mountain Power officials didn’t present a convincing case for the fee.

“The only case that Rocky Mountain Power made was that those folks who invest their own money in putting solar panels on cost the system money. And what the utility did not try to do all was in any way to look at the benefits that it brings us. Whether that be cleaner air or less of need to buy dirty coal power or all the other positive benefits of rooftop solar,” says Pacenza.

Members of the Public Service Commission say that want more data to see if the 4 dollar 65 cent fee is in fact necessary. David Eskelsen is a spokesman for Rocky Mountain Power.  He says the utility is prepared to provide more information.

“We certainly agree more data is desirable and we’ll work with them to develop a proposal for customers that use their own generation,” says Eskelsen.

The Public Service Commission did approve two rate hikes proposed by Rocky Mountain Power. The first one will raise rates 1.9 percent and goes into effect on Monday.  

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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