Utilities Worry About Alternative Energy
Utility companies and utility regulators see a problem coming, and there's no easy answer.
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#1 Feb 15, 2014
" Its a huge issue, says Doug Scott, chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission. Its not fair to charge people or businesses for an electrical or natural gas system that theyre not using, but its not fair to charge other customers for keeping the network in place for service to those addresses, should it ever be needed."
Douggy, do you know what NET METERING IS? It is a contract with the individual home or business owner to sell surplus power back to the grid. The Utility still needs the "line" to the customer to get the surplus power from the home or business that generates their own peak power. For that the Utility gets "avoided" costs. The power sent back into the grid gives a peak demand source of power to the Utility customer base. The Utility doesn't have to buy property, get a right of way for a power corridor, maintain or build a new peaker plant or go to Court to defend the construction of such a plant. Do Utilities pass this cost savings along to the customers that don't have solar PV on their roofs? Yeah, right. What has been a well worn practice is to ask the ratepayer base to "conserve" energy so the Utility doesn't have to build more infrastructure to service the customer base. When the ratepayers DO conserve, the Utility says it isn't selling enough power so it will have to raise rates to make up the loss of revenue. The sorry state of the Electric Utility business model is killing them, and all the while, they are blaming someone else besides themselves. Get battery storage down to $100 per KWh or less and the Electric Company can have a national copper sale. Or they can change up their business model to include infrastructure to move "Stored" power and become a net power source to use as a vehicle power supply instead of oil, and its byproducts.
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