Advocates ask Idaho PUC for Grandfathered Net-Metering Program for Solar Power

Solar Power WorldOctober 23, 2019818


The Idaho Conservation League and Vote Solar are asking for the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to reconsider replacing net metering for solar panels with the new compensation rules. Fearing the replacement will cause the value of a solar panel installation to decrease drastically.

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Advocates ask Idaho PUC for Grandfathered Net-Metering Program for Solar Power

The Idaho Conservation League and Vote Solar are advocating for the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to protect existing Idaho Power Company residential and small business solar power customers when new compensation rules replace net-metering next year. Idaho families and small businesses have made a significant investment in solar energy. If they are not grandfathered, they may see the value of their investment drastically reduced.

“Idaho families that chose to invest in their energy freedom should not have the rules changed midway through the game by Idaho Power and the Public Utilities Commission,” said Ben Otto of the Idaho Conservation League. “Early adopters made a careful calculation about the costs and benefits of going solar. Changing the math after the deal is done is unfair to Idahoans leading the clean energy revolution by example.”

Net metering allows solar power customers to receive a credit on their bill for the excess solar electricity they send back to the grid. Today, that solar power energy credit is the same as the rate all customers pay Idaho Power for electricity. However, under a recently filed settlement that value would decrease over time to a rate 50% lower than today.

ICL, Vote Solar and other interested parties will file their comments on November 13, 2019, ahead of the public hearings scheduled for December 2 and 3, one by phone and one in Boise. The PUC will accept written public comment on the proposal until December 3. Refer to docket IPC-E-18-15.

“Utilities across the country are trying to stand between customers and clean, local, affordable solar energy,” said Briana Kobor of Vote Solar. “Grandfathering is a commonsense compromise that allows both consumers and utilities to keep good-faith agreements.”

Idaho Power Company serves over 560,000 customers in Idaho and Oregon. Its service territory stretches across the state from Ontario to Blackfoot and includes major metropolitan areas Boise, Twin Falls and Pocatello. The company has committed to providing 100% sources of renewable energy by 2045, but by ending net metering and potentially lowering rates for existing solar energy customers Idaho Power is making it clear that it wants to be the only one that controls that affordable, reliable sources of renewable energy.

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