Utah Power has had a steady history of energy rate increases and decreases, although there have been more price increases than decreases. In this guide to Rocky Mountain Power costs, you’ll see a breakdown of the latest price changes, experience how unstable the cost for coal power truly is, and learn what to expect from Warren Buffett over the years to come.
Rocky Mountain Power and Fossil Fuels
As a locally managed, wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, PacifiCorp (aka Rocky Mountain Power) is a leading western U.S. energy services provider. They are the largest grid owner-operator in the West serving 1.8 million retail customers across 143,000 square miles in six western states including Utah. The state of Utah provides Rocky Mountain Power with more than 40 percent of their energy sales.
More than 75 percent of the energy produced by RMP comes from burning coal and natural gas. Emissions of harmful waste come from burning coal such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide sulphuric acids, arsenic and ash. Researchers now say that carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels now account for nearly 65 percent of the extra carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.1
Learn more about recent environmental degradation of coal burning in Utah.
For a short history on the origins of fossil fuels visit, energy.gov.
What if someone told you that 15 years ago you could have locked in the price you paid for gasoline? Would you have done it? Of course! Private solar power production is now providing you the ability to lock in your energy costs for the next 25+ years!
The rise in rates for power provided by Rocky Mountain Power is no secret. A rising trend in energy costs is one of the reasons why renewable energy production has developed significantly over the past two decades.
Rocky Mountain Power offers a tiered rate system with different rate schedules for both Summer and Winter. Each season has a low, mid and high tier with rate increases for certain thresholds of energy use. Not only will solar generally pull you down from the high and mid tier, solar enables you to earn energy credit that you generate in the summer to cover the costs of high energy bills in the darker winter months. This happens through Net Metering and the Rocky Mountain Power solar program rate structure.
To see how you can counter these rising costs, see our guide to solar incentives.
Net Metering – Rocky Mountain Power Rebates
Although Rocky Mountain Power does provide solar-farm-produced energy purchasing agreements, the cost does not compare to the savings provided through private solar energy production. In order to do this you must install a solar panel system with a special meter called a “Net Meter”. Net Metering technology allows you to offset all or part energy needs. Net metering measures the difference between the electricity you buy from your power provider and the energy you generate using your own solar system. These energy credits carry over from month to month as a rebate, but not year to year, which means you keep living with your same energy consumption levels without the guilt of damaging the environment.
The Rocky Mountain Power Net Metering website outlines the following steps for generating your own solar energy:
- Plan out your system. Ensure the design conforms to IEEE 1547, UL 1741 and other national, state and local jurisdiction rules. (We do this for you)
- Apply for building permits and apply for interconnection approval with Rocky Mountain Power. (We do this for you)
- Once you have received approval from Rocky Mountain Power and also have approved building permits, build your generation system. (We do this for you)
- Have your generation system inspected by the local Authority Having Jurisdiction and forward the completed inspection report to us. (We do this for you)
- Once we receive a copy of the approved inspection report, Rocky Mountain Power will schedule a net meter installation within 10 days. (We do this for you)
- With the net meter installed, start generating electricity. (That was easy)
Note: We do all of this for you!
At the end of 2016, the Rocky Mountain Power solar program sought to implement a massive increase in rates for net-metering customers. Luckily, the policy was not passed, but remains to be reassessed sometime in 2017. With rates very very likely to increase, now more than ever is the time to go solar in Utah! Net Metering rates will only increase for new customers, so it’s crucial to go solar now before the rate increase.
To learn more about the rate increases coming to net metering customers visit: http://utahsolarworks.com/net-metering/
To learn how to read your net meter visit: The RMP Meter Guide