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Letter: Rocky Mountain Power hinders solar energy

Published February 9, 2014 10:23 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

I was disappointed with the Tribune's oversimplification of Rocky Mountain Power's proposed rate increase on customers with rooftop solar.

The editorial (Feb. 1) glossed over the fact that RMP is quietly working on legislation to hinder solar energy in Utah. RMP's legislation shifts ratemaking authority away from the Public Service Commission (PSC), where experts evaluate proposed fees based on costs and benefits, and makes it political by mandating fees on solar customers.

The PSC's ratemaking authority is the only check-and-balance we have against RMP's monopoly. A policy change that gives more power to a monopoly is bad policy.

I represent a venture capital fund that invests in clean tech companies in Utah, many of whom innovate ways to generate clean energy. I am concerned with this anti-solar legislation. Utah's current rooftop solar law encourages clean energy and attracts technology and industry to Utah.

RMP's legislation discourages clean energy and sends the wrong message to companies looking to locate in Utah. Protecting Utah's current rooftop solar law is essential to renewable energy development, especially when so many Utahns are concerned with air quality and finding clean energy solutions.

Todd Stevens

Salt Lake City

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