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Power The Almighty Buck

Electric Company Wants Monthly Fee For Solar Users 367

7-Vodka writes "Xcel Energy customers who have their own solar panels are worried about a new fee being proposed by the company. A monthly fee to pay for transmission and distribution of energy would be charged to customers who have solar panels, irrespective of their energy use for the month. An Xcel Energy spokesman said the fee is to ensure that regular customers don't subsidize the 'connectivity fees' for the solar panel customers who don't pay when they generate as much as they use. When pressed, the spokesman admitted that nobody actually pays a 'connectivity fee,' yet they wanted to prevent the mooching from occurring in the future (presumably when they hit everyone with such a fee). He also called the absence of a connectivity fee for solar customers a 'double subsidy' because many solar customers receive rebates to install the panels."
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Electric Company Wants Monthly Fee For Solar Users

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 01, 2009 @10:29AM (#28908561)

    You just spent $80 at the grocery store.

    I happen to sell mail-order cheesecakes. Since I didn't get any of your grocery money, I am therefore billing you for $15. Pay up now.

  • tax tax (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 01, 2009 @10:34AM (#28908587)

    this sounds like a government program

    Tax people for using resources to the point they stop using the resources
    Tax people for not using resources

  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Saturday August 01, 2009 @10:35AM (#28908597)

    "Sir, we've learned that the government is PAYING our customers to get these solar panels, and then we have to pay them for the electricity that is generated. Some may actually see a net profit from this. We even get cheaper electricity out of the deal, without having to pay for the equipment."

    "What? What?! No - absolutely not - we cannot allow this to continue unchallenged. Why, if everybody did that, then what would we be?"

    "Well, sir, we'd be the company that provides power when the sun isn't providing it. We wouldn't have to pay for power we aren't using from them. We could even start reselling expensive solar equipment and batteries."

    "Oh, so it wouldn't have to absolutely destroy us... oh, but damn, the shareholders!"

    "The shareholders?"

    "Yes, they'll go apeshit if they learn we aren't maximizing profits. Damnit, we'll have to do something to convince the shareholders that we're not letting an opportunity for shortterm profit fall away. I know - start charging a ridiculous fee for connecting, then using these solar systems, then they'll be another companies problem."

    "Customers willing to provide cheap electricity are a problem?"

    "No, shareholder expectations about making money from them are a problem. Losing customers for 'overzealous' charges we can explain, but losing profit margins from existing customers we get a shitstorm for. Commence the charges!"


    Ryan Fenton

  • by Norsefire ( 1494323 ) * on Saturday August 01, 2009 @10:45AM (#28908669) Journal

    You can do it even in a suburban home if you plan well enough.

    And own a lot of hamsters.

  • by maxume ( 22995 ) on Saturday August 01, 2009 @10:46AM (#28908683)

    Are you going to disconnect the sun if they refuse to pay you?

  • by Norsefire ( 1494323 ) * on Saturday August 01, 2009 @10:47AM (#28908685) Journal

    G.O. would roll in his grave if he found out that 1984 was a mild version of the future.

    Didn't you hear? Xcel dug him up, wrapped in wire and are generating electricity by how fast he's spinning.

  • by kulakovich ( 580584 ) <> on Saturday August 01, 2009 @11:33AM (#28909013)
    Because I know you have a rep reading this.

    I AM GLAD you are doing this. Because now you open up the dialogue in which we discuss what I am going to CHARGE YOU per kilowatt hour that I GENERATE.



    ps - we're unregulated so I'll just put something out there after you say yes.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.