Denver Utility Company Wants to Charge Solar Consumers A Fee for NOT Using Their Power



Hey, guess what?  A utility company in Colorado is going to charge a fee to people using solar panels and not using their electricity.  Doesn’t that just defeat the point?  Do you think their own profits might be superceding what’s good for the rest of the country?

Of course they are.  God forbid someone would actually try to do something that wasn’t putting money in the pockets of the power barons, and maybe save the Earth or something.

Denver, Colorado-based Xcel Energy wants to charge a fee to solar power customers who are, well, not using their electricity by generating their own electricity.  Xcel Energy wants customers using their solar panels to pay extra regardless of whether or not they used a drop of Xcel energy each month.  Fortunately, Xcel isn’t putting this fee into place until April 2010, and people who got Xcel PVs before then wouldn’t have to pay the fee.  The Public Utilities Commision still needs to vote on this, and they’ll do so on August 5.

In short, this means that if you try to take charge of your own electricity use by generating some power with Xcel’s solar panels, you’re gonna be penalized by Xcel for doing exactly what you tried to prevent in the first place.  This also means that it might be time to choose someone else’s solar panel service or find another way to purchase some photovoltaic installation action.  It’s time to stop being screwed by companies that think you’re so stupid that they can charge ridiculous fees and you’ll just blindly pay them.

A guy named Tom Henley at Xcel told 7 News that this fee is a preventative measure so that solar customers don’t get a “free ride” down the line.  What?  Wait, what?  A free ride?  Oh, but it gets even more awesome.  From the article that Christian Ayers wrote for The Denver Channel:

Henley also called the absence of a connectivity fee for solar customers a “double subsidy” because many solar customers receive rebates to install the panels. Amendment 37, passed in 2004, requires that a maximum of 2 percent of all Xcel customers’ bills go toward funding the Solar Reward program, which provides rebates for solar installation. Henley said since 2006, the program has given more than $86 million in rebates. The federal government provides tax credits for installing solar panels.

Xcel, I just puked in my mouth a little because of that.  You guys need to get your heads out of your collective asses.  What on Earth is wrong with you?

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  1. It’s not as bad as it sounds on first read, the fee’s would be about $2 a month for line maintenance, which is pretty reasonable. If you don’t like it, get off the grid completely.

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