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Hearings set on solar net metering

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Rooftop solar is an important part of Idaho’s future. But, changes to “net metering” policies could make it less affordable. The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has now set times for two public hearings about solar net metering. Public comments can also be submitted on the IPUC website until March 5th  at this link regarding case number IPC-E-17-13.

Boise hearing : Thursday, March 1st at 7 pm, at the IPUC Hearing Room, 472 W. Washington St.

Pocatello hearing: Monday, March 5th, at 7 pm at City Council Chambers, 911 N 7th Ave.

What to say:

  • Ask the Commission to deny Idaho Power’s request to create a new customer class and keep solar affordable
  • Explain why you think solar is valuable to Idaho
  • Ask the Commission to protect your right to install solar without unfair charges or fees

Last year, Idaho Power cast a shadow on solar by proposing to put solar users into a separate customer class without committing to what those rates would actually be. The Idaho Public Utilities Commission will hear technical arguments from intervenors on this proposal in March. Boise attorney John Hammond will represent the Alliance and the Northwest Energy Coalition to present testimony from utilities expert Amanda Levin, with the NRDC.

Recently, the Idaho PUC staff submitted testimony that Idaho Power is already being fully compensated for grid operations and doesn’t need a new customer class. However, the staff suggests moving away from retail-value solar credits towards a lower value compensation plan for net meterers. The Alliance wants to make sure anyone who invests in clean energy gets to recoup the full value of their investment.

What if you can’t Solarize your rooftop?

Community solar projects can help smaller households go solar. Unlike “green tag” programs that support generic clean energy programs somewhere, community solar creates actual green electrons right in the community. The Alliance supports Idaho Power’s Community Solar Project, but the project is still only 14% subscribed after its first year. Idaho Power is trying to build the solar project anyway with the financial assistance of commercial customers and municipalities.

Idaho Power charges $562 per subscription to their Community Solar Pilot Porject. This provides around $25 a year in energy credits. For more information call Idaho Power at 208 388 2790. You can review or fill out a Participant Agreement here.

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