What Utah Solar Companies Forget to Mention About RMP’s Equal Pay
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Rocky Mountain Power has several payment options for their customers. One option that has caused some confusion and frustration is equal pay.
How Rocky Mountain Power’s Equal Pay Works
For those that like knowing exactly what they will owe each month, equal pay is a good option. This payment plan allows you to pay an average bill based on your last year of energy use.
At the end of the year, the difference is either credited or billed to the customer. Your monthly bill is then reassessed for the next year.
Who Qualifies for Rocky Mountain Power’s Equal Pay Plan
To qualify for equal pay, you need to live in your home for at least 12 months. This gives Rocky Mountain Power the information needed to determine an average bill. You cannot get this payment option if you have an overdue balance.
Equal Pay Annual Review Options: Rollover or Settle-Up
Because equal pay is not your actual usage, you will end up with an extra bill or credit at some point. At the end of the year, the difference between your energy use and payments get calculated. You then have two payment options to choose from.
The first payments option is the rollover plan. With the rollover plan, the energy difference gets added up and divided by 12. This amount is then either credited or debited from your monthly bill for the next year.
The second payment option is the settle-up plan. This plan either credits or charges you the difference after each year. After your account gets settled your balance will return to zero at the beginning of the next year.
This plan is not recommended for individuals on a fixed income. This is because the bill at the end of the year may be more than they can afford.
Difference Between “Payment Plan Amount” and “Amount Due”
Many Rocky Mountain Power customers get confused when their payment plan amount and the amount due are different. For those that are on an equal payment plan, this is normal.
If you are on an equal payment plan, the “amount due” lets you know what your total usage owed is. This amount, however, is not the amount that you actually owe that month. You should only owe the “payment plan amount” each month.
If you have the settle-up option, your amount due and payment plan amount will only be the same at the end of the year. If you decided to choose the rollover option, you will always have an amount due.
Possible Reasons for Payment Changes During the Year on an Equal Pay Plan
Equal payments don’t take into account large fluctuations in your energy use. If there is a dramatic change in your usage over a couple of months, your monthly payments may get adjusted. Installing large energy efficient appliances or a swimming pool can make a difference.
Your monthly bill will be reevaluated if you have a meter added or taken from your residence. You may have a meter removed if you own a home that was once rented out as two residences. One reason you might need another meter is if you have a detached workshop that you want to run power to.
Another reason why your monthly bill may change is if you over or underpay for too long. To equal out the payments for the remainder of the year, your payments may change during the year. This adjustment will balance out your previous payments for the year and the remainder.
How Equal Pay Affects Utah Solar Customers
Equal pay is great for those that want to have the same bill throughout the year. It, however, may not be the best option for solar customers. When you get solar you still get power from your utility when the sun isn’t out. Net metering, however, allows you to get credited for the extra power your panels produce throughout the year.
If you have recently installed solar, and would like to set up equal pay, you may end up paying more than you use. This is because the year before you didn’t have any solar to offset your usage. This can be frustrating because your bill each month is the same, instead of lower as anticipated.
It is for this reason that Go Solar Group suggests that you cancel your equal pay payment plan when you get solar. This will allow you to see exactly how much energy you are taking off the grid each month. You would then only pay the amount that your excess solar energy doesn’t cover.
Can You Still Use Equal Pay With Solar in Utah?
If you want an equal payment plan, you can still get one with your solar array. However, because equal pay is an average of the last 12 months, waiting will save solar customers hassle.
We recommend waiting at least a year after your solar installation. This will give Rocky Mountain Power the information they need to assess your new usage. If you would like to look into solar for your Utah residence, Go Solar Group can get you set up with a free consultation. After a quick phone call to go over the details of your home, an in-person appointment will be set. This is a no-obligation meeting to go over your custom system and discuss any questions you have.