If you use solar panels or wind turbines to generate your own power, you can sell the electricity you don’t use back to your utility. But one Northwest power company wants to stop sending checks to customers who are big energy producers. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.
Idaho Power awards a credit against customers’ utility bills for the solar and wind power they put onto the grid. If they still have unused credits when the year ends, Idaho Power sends them a check.
But that could change. Idaho Power says it needs to stop sending the checks out to avoid increased oversight by federal regulators.
The unused credits would instead be used to lower all Idaho Power customers’ rates in good years.
That doesn’t sit well with customer Roger Findley. The solar panels on his farm near Ontario, Oregon produce so much energy that he gets a check each year from Idaho Power.
Findley: “I’m gonna lose the three months of credit I have each year. And that’s in my eyes not fair.”
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission plans to decide on the request this summer.
Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio