Solar panel owners in Idaho have received notification from Idaho Power Co. that the rate at which we are compensated for solar power generation could be drastically reduced over the next eight years. I installed solar panels on the roof of my home three years ago, prior to Idaho Power’s request to segregate residential solar users into a new group (Schedule 6). The proposed new rate structure for me reduces my 12-year break-even time period to a non-existent break-even period. My solar panels would never pay for themselves given the new rate structure, as the useful life of the panels themselves are shorter than the payback period with the new rate structure. Had I known that Idaho Power was planning this, I would not have spent nearly $20,000 on solar panels.
Idaho Power is a government-sanctioned monopoly and a for-profit business. Idaho Power is well aware that the rates it is proposing are so low that no one is likely to install green-energy solutions in the future. It wants to be the sole provider of energy, green or otherwise. I cannot think of a more direct and swift method of crushing innovation than to agree to what amounts to a rate hike for solar power users.
Please think carefully about the ramifications of allowing Idaho Power to further its monopoly into green power and stifling any future hope of green energy. Contact the Idaho Public Utilities Commission case No. IPC-E-18-15 and voice your opinion on this matter.
Casey Finegan, Ketchum