Energy Error 

City Weekly’s critique of Rocky Mountain Power [Hits & Misses, Jan. 30] is based on a misunderstanding about our proposed fee for residential customers in Utah who generate their own power and use net metering. That’s not a significant part of the overall price increase we’ve requested and wouldn’t affect most customers. And while it may be tempting to believe the proposed net metering fee is about RMP trying to increase profits, it doesn’t actually affect the total dollars recovered by the company. What it does is promote pricing that treats all customers fairly.

Currently, residential customers who generate a portion of their own electricity but stay connected to the grid via net metering aren’t paying their full share of the fixed costs to serve them. Those costs include the neighborhood poles, wires and electrical equipment they continue to depend on and services they receive regardless of the amount of electricity they use each month. Some of their costs are being subsidized by other residential customers, including lower-income households.

Rocky Mountain Power has done much to support renewable energy in Utah. City Weekly praised Burton Lumber for installing solar panels but didn’t mention that funding from our Utah Solar Incentive Program helped make them possible. That’s part of $50 million in solar incentives being provided to Utah residents and businesses through the program over five years.

Also, our Blue Sky program recently awarded $1.8 million to 22 Utah organizations for community-based renewable energy projects. Since 2006, Blue Sky customers have supported more than 100 such projects across the state. We’re also one of the largest utility owners of wind resources in the country and our parent company is building the two largest solar projects in the world.

Rocky Mountain Power will continue to work to expand the renewable energy options available for our customers, but we think it’s important that customers’ individual energy choices not be allowed to negatively impact other customers’ electricity prices.

Jeff Hymas
Rocky Mountain Power

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