This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
We installed a rooftop solar system last November and have followed the rate discussion with more than general interest. The system generates electricity, which either powers electrical appliances being used at home or goes onto Rocky Mountain Power's grid to be credited to our electrical use at some future time.
For instance, in April we generated 991 kwh of electricity, used 586 kwh, and sent to the grid 405 kwh. April was the first month that we generated more electricity than we used. The expectation is to build up credit during the summer months that we can use to offset electrical usage during the winter months.
At the end of March each year, Rocky Mountain Power will take the value of whatever credits we have left and apply that to its low income program and we will start over with zero credits. The marginal value of the electricity that we send to the grid during the summer months is about 14.5 cents/kwh (the highest price Rocky Mountain Power can charge a residential customer (https://www.rockymountainpower.net/summerrates). The marginal value of the electricity that we use during the winter is about 9.9 cents/kwh (the highest price we paid last winter).
So Rocky Mountain Power nets about 4.6 cents/kwh for each kwh that we send to the grid. Rocky Mountain Power claims that solar users are subsidized by others. But it seems that we subsidize Rocky Mountain Power to an even greater extent.