Idaho Power Throwing Shade on Rooftop Solar, Supporters Say
Thursday, August 4, 2022
Idaho Power has commissioned a study which found the rate it pays for rooftop solar customers to send their power back to the grid should be lowered.
The monopoly energy company sent its study to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for consideration, suggesting net metering rates be cut by roughly 60%.
Alex McKinley, owner of Empowered Solar in Boise, said the state has a great solar resource, but a cut in rates would likely hurt efforts to install panels on roofs.
"Their goal as an investor-owned utility is to make profits, and they see residential distributed generation as a threat to their profits," McKinley asserted. "I think that comes out pretty clearly in the way this study was conducted."
Idaho Power said a reduction in rates is a matter of fairness. It said infrastructure costs, for example, are pushed onto other customers at the current net-metering rate. The utilities commission is taking public comment on the study's results.
Mike Engle, chair of the Portneuf Resource Council, does not believe the suggested rates will kill the solar industry but noted it would take longer for customers to pay off their systems.
Engle argued it would be best to motivate people to move toward rooftop solar with the current rates because it will protect the environment and also supports local economies with jobs.
"Idaho Power and the Public Utilities Commission should ensure that all of Idaho's residents have the ability to participate in Idaho Power's goal of migrating to clean energy," Engle emphasized.
Idaho Power has committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2045. Engle is pushing for a third party to evaluate the numbers in Idaho Power's study.
McKinley noted Idaho and other states are feeling the pressure from a changing climate, putting strain on energy grids.
"Distributed generation makes the whole grid more resilient," McKinley stressed. "The public, whether they're someone who has rooftop solar or not, wants a more resilient grid."
get more stories like this via email
Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…
Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …
A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …
Health and Wellness
Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …
Health and Wellness
Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…
In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…
By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …
A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…