While it is encouraging that the Utah Public Service Commission denied Rocky Mountain Power’s request to charge an extra fee to customers with solar power systems, do not assume this effort is over.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been crafting model bills to penalize homeowners (they call them "free riders") who install solar panels. Many Utah legislators are in leadership positions with ALEC, where they pay for a seat on task forces with corporate lobbyists and special interest groups. This solar fee has already been implemented in Arizona and Oklahoma. The Arizona fee of $5 a month was originally proposed to be $100, until consumer opposition arose. Arizona is also taxing homeowners who lease solar panels.
Please check the web link http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Utah_ALEC_Politicians to see if your legislators are representing you or are they putting together cookie-cutter legislation for corporate America.
Christine B. Helfrich
Salt Lake City
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.