Utahns protest proposed fee for solar panel users

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An image of a solar panel.

SALT LAKE CITY – A protest was held Thursday as Utahns expressed their disapproval for a power company’s proposal to charge customers who use solar panels.

Rocky Mountain Power is considering charging customers who use solar panels an additional $4.25 each month, and members of the group Utah Citizens Advocating Renewable Energy expressed their displeasure.

U CARE members asked the public service commission to reject the proposal from RMP, claiming the proposed fee would discourage people from pursuing solar energy.

“It shows Rocky Mountain Power’s true lack of a commitment to renewable energy,” UCARE Member Stan Homes said. “We hear so much about the Blue Sky program, which has good things to be said for it, but in fact, what Rocky Mountain Power is based on is coal. It’s part of the coal industry. They mine it here. They burn it here.”

Paul Murphy, Rocky Mountain Power spokesman, said the alternative to the fee is putting the cost to other customers who aren’t using solar power.

He said: “The question is: Who pays for it? Do the people who use the solar panels, or should other customers be paying for it? The proposed charge does not bring in any more revenue to RMP, it just keeps other customers from paying for what solar panel users are doing.”

Those opposed to the proposed fee say a similar fee in Arizona led to a decrease in installations of solar panels in that state, and they said they worry such a fee would have a similar impact in Utah.

5 comments

  • Cartman

    100% of the cost of the panels should be borne by their owners. Neither the purchase price or any other expense related to them should EVER be borne by taxpayers or by other rate payers.

    This story doesn’t mention WHY there are costs involved. So how are we to judge? If there ARE costs, then I’m with RMP on this one. If I want solar panels, I’ll buy some. But I’ll be damned if I’ll pay for someone elses panels. That goes for “tax credits”, too. And electric vehicles, and all the other ways people get to scam their fellow citizens. Pay your own way in life, deadbeats!

    • CARTMAN 2.0

      I don’t think you understand how solar works, they are saving money buy having those panels on their home and reducing the amount of energy needed to burn.

  • one tired of high taxes

    RMP needs to be audited. I have talked to many RMP workers when they have been doing repairs, fixing outages etc. They have told me that a lot of money coming in goes to the parent company out of the country and all they do here is keep putting band aids on the system. They also say we are in for a major power outage. Solar panel users should not be charged a fee for having panels.

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