Rocky Mountain Power drops deadline request for new solar customers

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(ABC4 Utah) – Utahns wanting to create their own energy no longer have to worry about rushing into a solar contract. On Friday Rocky Mountain Power dropped its request for a December 9th deadline.

Hurry! Act now! Sign up today because this deal won’t last! That was the kind of pressure that was facing potential solar customers. Rocky Mountain Power wanted December 9th to be the cutoff date for solar customers to be grandfathered into the old net-metering rates. If you were signed up before December 9th you were in, after that and it meant you were subject to whatever the new rates may be and that likely won’t be decided until late 2017.

Utah Solar Energy Association Executive Director Ryan Evans said, “It was really confusing to customers. It was going to cast some uncertainty into our market where customers may or may not be grandfathered in.”

To ensure they got the old net metering rates Rocky Mountain Power says between November 9th and today they saw thousands of new customers signing up for solar in order to get in before the deadline. Spokesperson Paul Murphy said, “Since that time we had more than 2,000 applications come in in November and another 2,300 applications between December 1st and December 9th.”

On Friday, Rocky Mountain Power notified the Public Service Commission they were dropping their request.

Evans says that means, “As of right now anyone who signs up for net-metering and installs a solar array on their home will go in under the current net-metering arrangements.”

The solar industry sees this as a win, and both sides say they hope to continue with conversations and find a compromise on solar rates.

Murphy said, “So hopefully we’ll be able to reach a resolution that Rocky Mountain Power customers are left unharmed and the solar industry feels like they can keep going forward.”

Ultimately, it’s up to the Public Service Commission. Whether the solar industry and Rocky Mountain Power come to an agreement or not, the Public Service Commission will decide future solar rates. That decision isn’t expected until late 2017.

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