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Letter: Utah should incentivize solar users, not penalize them

Published March 5, 2014 1:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Electricity rates should be fair. As a 3-megawatt-hour producer of solar energy annually, I'm happy to pay my share (and already pay $8 monthly service charges). To determine fair, we need to look at all costs and benefits, not just RMP's.

Solar benefit No. 1: RMP ratepayers did not build nor have to maintain or insure my system.

Solar benefit No. 2: Solar produces 40 percent of its energy production during peak demand hours, energy that RMP doesn't have to buy at increased rates and can sell at increased rates to California. When I produce more energy annually than I consume, I subsidize the grid. I get a credit, not a rebate, that vanishes every March.

Solar benefits No. 3 and No. 4, the most important: no coal-related environmental or climate impacts.

Utah is one of a few states — along with Wyoming, Idaho and Nebraska — that has no mandatory renewable energy portfolio. These proposed rate increases are taking us in the wrong direction. We should incentivize not penalize better choices ("Utah bill to impose fees on solar power users advances," Tribune, Feb. 24).

The 2,000 forward-thinking RMP electricity-generating photovoltaic customers make up only .002 percent of RMP's total Utah customer base. Let's talk when they become a majority.

Nia Z. Sherar

Salt Lake City




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