Solar surcharges are a controversial topic, and one that is frustrating consumers in many cities. Many homeowners and business owners want to use PV solar systems to save money and achieve energy independence, but the municipal and private utility providers seem to have other ideas.
Utility companies across the United States have attempted to push through inequitable fees and surcharges designed to discourage customers who seek to emancipate themselves from runaway power bills. In many cases, this means customers have to pay a fixed fee to the electricity company every month, even if they use their own equipment to meet their power needs. Whether you already have solar panels on your home or are considering converting to solar power, read on to learn more about utility company surcharges and how to fight them.
Understand the Challenges You Face
In many states, utility companies are fighting for their proverbial lives against the growing popularity of solar panels. By imposing a surcharge to customers, regardless of how little energy they use, the utilities hope to discourage consumers for exercising their right to select their own power source. In fact, Rocky Mountain Power in Utah has already proposed this type of fee, and though it has been rejected, the company may take another pass at implementation. Similar fees have been approved in other states, but fortunately, these are regularly being overturned or restricted. Power companies claim that net metering, in which solar power users are given credit for generating excess electricity and returning it to the power grid, is making them lose money. Legal experts argue that these fees constitute a monopoly and prevent consumers from having a choice in how they obtain electricity.
Fortunately, plans for solar surcharges are being scrapped around the country, thanks to the consumers who are fighting back. You can get involved in your community too, by attending the meetings and hearings established to debate fee increases. Gather like-minded friends and neighbors and be prepared to speak when public comments are solicited. You can make a difference behind the scenes also, by signing petitions and contacting local politicians and utility commission members to make your feelings known. By getting involved, you can help provide everyone with the freedom to choose their own methods of obtaining power in a fair and affordable manner.
Use Generators or Solar Battery Backup Systems
The only reason to maintain an account with your local utility company is to fill in during those times that your system isn’t generating power. Fortunately, you can store your own excess power using a photovoltaic hybrid system with battery backup. Backup generators are another way to assure an uninterrupted supply of power, even in the event of an extended outage.
Whatever type of alternative energy system you prefer, Intermountain Wind and Solar can help you fight back against greedy utility providers with an off-grid solar power system. Contact them today to schedule a free site evaluation and fight back against solar surcharges.
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