Op-ed: Proposed rooftop solar rates are an attempt to unravel energy independence

Reed Saxon, Associated Press

Solar panels being installed on a house.

We represent two homegrown, Utah solar businesses. And while we’re competitors, we’ve come together to address Rocky Mountain Power’s proposed net metering rates that would be imposed on Utah’s rooftop solar customers.

Having been in this industry for 24 years combined, we’ve seen Utah’s solar industry grow from a niche business to a thriving industry. Throughout that time, we’ve witnessed everything from new interconnection rules, ever-changing local government permitting and customer fluctuations, but we have never experienced such an egregious threat to Utah’s solar industry. The utility’s proposal goes too far, and will not only hurt Utah’s solar industry with its thousands of well-paying jobs, but it will also hinder Utah residents who want to go solar.

The proposed 150 percent rate increase for solar homeowners is a very complicated issue and is confusing to our current and potential customers. In fact, the mere filing of the net metering proposal by Rocky Mountain with the Utah Public Service Commission in December 2016, has created real uncertainty in the market and stagnated our sales. Poorly conceived net metering changes basically killed the rooftop solar industry in Nevada, until a year later when the State Legislature amended its net metering law to revive the solar industry. Let’s avoid what happened in Nevada and get it right the first time.

According to industry surveys, there are three main motivators for adopting solar: First, saving money on energy bills; second, energy independence; and third, reducing one’s carbon footprint. All are good reasons to…

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