Kaysville residents angry after city council temporarily cuts credits for solar panels

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KAYSVILLE, Utah -- Solar panels are getting more expensive for one northern Utah community and residents are pushing back after the city council cut credits.

Dozens of solar panels cover John Loveless' home in Kaysville. It's an expensive investment he made five years ago but he expected it to pay off in the long run.

“I wanted to have cleaner energy and offset costs of electricity,” Loveless said.

During the summer, Loveless produces more energy than he can use. That excess power is put into the grid to power his neighbors’ homes. He then receives a one for one credit for each kilowatt.

“I would be giving up probably 7 megawatt hours a year if I didn't have metering,” Loveless said.

But that's what could happen to new solar installations in Kaysville. The city council voted unanimously for a temporary suspension of net metering.

“We're deeply concerned that Kaysville has essentially shut down efforts from folks to generate their own clean energy and be part of the solution to have cleaner air and cleaner energy,” said Matt Pacenza, executive director of HEAL Utah.

HEAL Utah promotes renewable energy and Pacenza said this is a big step backward.

But Kaysville power says the number of homes with solar panels is growing and that is putting an undue burden on other residents.

“We didn't want the non-solar customers subsidizing the new solar customers so we are gathering information from all sources,” said Bruce Rigby, Resource Manager for Kaysville Power and Light.

But residents argue there's no need for a change. With nearly 9,000 ratepayers in Kaysville only 50 households have rooftop solar panels.

“I can't even imagine or fathom how this one half of one percent of all their customers is having some huge financial impact on the rest of the system,” Pacenza said.

The moratorium set by the city council could last six months but Kaysville power hopes to come to a decision much sooner than that.

2 comments

  • Terence W.

    I see nothing wrong with people not having to pay in the short-term. The benefits outweigh the losses for the entire community because of better utilized energy. Why must Politics fish into everything that involves a good change? The only constant is change…that’s a fact of life. As for lost money? It won’t matter as solar pushes forward with renewable energy anyway in the years to come.

  • C. W.

    I have heard of communities/even large cities passing similar laws. If I was producing solar power would demand to see proof of EXACTLY how that makes non-power producing customers more. It doesn’t make any sense. Any normal customer pays a bill, in that bill the money pays for the power itself, maintenance, infrastructure and improvements. If someone is producing more power than they can consume and that power goes back into the grid, how is that different from the money that is being paid for the bill? Maybe the power companies should itemize bills to show people exactly what they are paying for. If they do that, how can that power being produce by others not be credited as money towards those “other” things that are included in a bill. It as if they want to say, “You can buy electricity for money, but we won’t pay you for the electricity you are producing.” Does residential solar production to the grid cause an increase for maintenance and infrastructure? I haven’t ever heard that it does. To me, this is nothing but the power companies seeing the writing on the wall. They know that people want to lower their bills, and produce cleaner electricity. In the end, the more people make, the less they buy and that will effect the companies’ bottom line. They will stop at nothing to get in with local and federal governments and make up ways to keep making the money they have been for the last 100 years.

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