The SOLAR industry in Idaho is in LIMBO – and not because it’s getting lower…

The SOLAR industry in Idaho is in LIMBO – and not because it’s getting lower…

Idaho Power/PUC case IPC-E-18-15 effectively has the solar industry in limbo. Someone can go solar, but not one of the almost 500 people working for solar companies in Idaho can tell you what your yearly savings will be in 2020. The solar industry is down to a science. By using your roof pitch, azimuth and power bill kWh use – a quality solar provider can precisely determine your monthly and yearly savings. Until October 11th, 2019 that is. That’s the date the current settlement proposal was made public in this case. It’s been the first chance the public and solar professionals had to see results of the confidential meetings between Idaho Power and case intervenors. I didn’t get to fully read and understand the new information for at least a couple weeks. Now that I understand what it says, I understand that ANY ethical solar professional can only show worst case scenarios to customers. This is due to the simple fact that NO ONE knows what the Idaho Public Utilites Commission (PUC) will pass and what they might change or reject.

Returns and savings are still there for solar, but the worst case scenario is not nearly as good as reality might be in 2020. Since we are waiting on the PUC to decide what will be done: hearing and comments are due Dec. 3rd. Please message us on social @AwakenSolar or e-mail me at “Joshua@AwakenSolar.com” to get involved.

Awaken Solar on Instagram_ “A local Boise install which has a net meter application which was submitted JUST before the PUC staffs proposed October 11th, 2019 cutoff…”

 

You can also comment here and reference case IPC-E-18-15: https://puc.idaho.gov/forms/casecomment.aspx

Finally, you can testify by phone on December 2nd, 2019 or in person on December 3rd, 2019 at the Idaho PUC headquarters in Boise.

One simple way you can help is to pick a simile! I’m trying to think of a good comparison for my testimony on December 3rd. I want to make it clear how this period where we don’t know what the solar policy will be puts the industry at a standstill. Which do you prefer?

Example 1- This case is like you shopping for a new smart phone 📲and the data provider telling you they changed plan options (no more unlimited anything!). You could end up paying $50 per month, or if you use a lot during peak times on our network it could cost you $300 per month. Later, maybe next year, you’ll find out how much each text, call and MB of data costs.📊

Charges will also depend on when you use data (prices will change based on hourly demand), and we cant tell you how much different usage times will cost yet.

Oh, and also, your monthly base charge will be going up.📈💸

Example 2 – This case is like shopping for a NEW car/truck 🚗 but not knowing how many MPG it will get. It could get 5 MPG and cost you $300 per week, or it could get 40 MPG and cost only $50 per week. Charges to fill up will also depend on when you stop at a station (prices will change based on hourly demand), and we cant tell you how much different fill up times will cost yet.

Once you buy it, you’ll know in a few months….Oh, and the price of gasoline will be going up significantly next year.🛢💸

Good, ethical and honest solar professionals are leaving Idaho. The public and solar industry needs to unite to show both the PUC and Idaho Power that we will not be one of the worst states in America when it comes to solar. We want fair, just and reasonable policies. We want an industry that does not have to constantly suffer by having the utility push constant dockets which create long periods where no one can know their returns because we have to wait until the case is decided. We want to be able to work alongside the utilities in Idaho, to promote private investment in the grid with on-site generation. There are a LOT of ways we can all prosper with solar, the new rate, and setting a date for it to start previous to anyone knowing what the actual new rate will be…is absurd.

If Idaho Power wants to encourage protecting our shared environment and ethical solar, there are much better ways to solve our grid issues.

Thank you for helping! – Joshua “Sunshine” Hill

About Author

Give a Reply