The state-by-state battle over rooftop solar continues, with utilities looking to reduce compensation for customers who install rooftop solar systems — or eliminate the practice outright. Idaho Power recently filed a request with the state’s Public Service Commission to eliminate the current net metering tariff for new small and residential customers, and establish a separate rate class for these customers. The request has been justified both as a way for utilities to recoup their increased grid maintenance costs due to the proliferation of rooftop solar systems, and (ostensibly) to protect their customers without rooftop solar from unfair cost-shifting. Idaho Power’s last attempt to raise fees on rooftop solar customers failed in 2013. The utility’s filing doesn’t specify details of the new rate classes, leaving that to regulators — but advocates no doubt see this request as the first step to boost charges on solar customers.
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