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Solarize News 9/28/16

We’re excited to help usher in new solar capacity in the Treasure Valley and decrease our reliance on out-of-state coal power.

Idaho Power relies on coal plants to provide more than 40% of our electric load. These plants are a public health hazard and contribute to global climate change. Solar power is an excellent replacement for dirty, imported coal-generated electricity. Learn more in the Alliance’s Energy Report.

Go solar in 2016! Participants in Solarize the Valley have until October 31, 2016 to sign a contract and lock in the great prices and products offered by our 2016 campaign.

Deciding to go solar is a big decision that requires a look into the future. We don’t have a crystal ball, but we are confident the future is very bright for rooftop solar. Here are answers to questions we’ve received.

How will future electric rate increases impact my solar investment?

The value of installing rooftop solar on your home or business is tied to the future price of electricity. Idaho Power rates are approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission regularly, and while they fluctuate up and down, the trend is unmistakably up. For example, drought in 2007 and 2013 reduced Idaho Power’s hydropower capacity, and rates were increased more than 14% both years. Solarize the Valley proposals use a modest 5% annual rate increase in calculating payback for investing in solar. Should electricity rates increase more than 5% per year, your solar could pay back even sooner!

Will Idaho Power change my Net Energy Metering arrangement once I have solar?

While some utilities have adopted new rates for net metering customers, most major utilities across the country have grandfathered existing net metering customers for at least 20 years. In fact, this month an agreement was reached in Nevada to grandfather in more than 32,000 existing residential rooftop solar customers at original “retail” net metering rates for 20 years! Furthermore, a recent Consumer Reports investigation advised its readers that “getting your deal done before new regulations are implemented could save you hundreds of dollars each year.”

The Snake River Alliance expects (and will advocate for) Idaho Power to grandfather existing solar net metering customers if and when changes are formally proposed. We cannot guarantee that net energy metering policy for solar customers will not change in the future, but we can guarantee that we will be fighting to protect existing and future solar customers’ investments in a clean energy future.

Idaho Climate Action Rally 2016 is on Saturday, Oct. 1, 11am – 2 pm at the Statehouse and Capital Park.  Stop by and visit the Solarize the Valley/Snake River Alliance table.

The Snake River Alliance excels in promoting clean, affordable, and nuclear-free energy for all Idahoans. Our Idaho Energy Update is available online and is packed with energy news. The Snake River Alliance is a local, member-supported non-profit organization. You can support all of the clean energy work of the Snake River Alliance by making a tax-deductible donation. Use our secure online portal to support our work today.

Please contact us if you have questions. Call Leigh at (208) 344-9161 or email solarize@snakeriveralliance.org.  If you have questions about your Alt Energy proposal, please contact Jesse Simpson at (208) 501-5417.