Utility wants penalty from Colorado residents who add solar panels
“A license to print money”
Xcel Energy is proposing a new penalty on Colorado residents who generate their own renewable electricity.
The “infrastructure upkeep fee” could range between $20 and $200 per year, the Denver Post reports. Customers who buy and install their own solar panels would essentially be asked to keep paying for some of the energy they’re no longer using from Xcel’s electricity grid.
“It’s only fair everyone pay for the system,” an Xcel spokesman said, noting that the grid provides a “backup” for solar users.
Huh? Is there any other industry that could get away with proposing something like this? Your customers don’t need your product anymore, so you propose making them pay for it anyway, just in case they need it again someday?
What’s really going on here is the beginning of a potentially massive powershift, one in which Xcel and other large utilities’ customers are increasingly becoming the competition by generating their own electricity. Xcel has a strong record of supporting renewable energy, so long as it’s the one generating the profits.
These are the sort of schmucks who’ve been in charge of so-called public utilities all my life. They get a guaranteed profit structure. State regulators band over backwards [and forwards] to keep them happy. And, of course, you and I pick up the tab.
I look forward to the day when getting off the grid is truly affordable for us all. And people like the heads of Xcel have to get an honest job.
Thanks, Mike Herron