To: David Lifferth,
Subject: SB115
Date: Tue Mar 08 16:00:22 MST 2016

March 8, 2016

To my Utah leaders,

My husband and I are becoming increasingly alarmed with how our state government and leaders are directing our state, Utah.  It seems the will of the people are being trampled by you, those who were chosen to represent the best interests of Utah residents.  These laws and taxes are very swiftly forcing us to lose more of our hard earned money and enslave us further to government.  Currently in the legislature process is a bill which GREATLY affects our family and our investment.  SB115, concerning solar power and Rocky Mountain Power specifically.  It seems that Stuart Adams does not understand checks and balances, such as the Utah State Commission for keeping Rocky Mountain Power, a monopoly, from forcing it’s consumers to pay excessive costs for energy.  Our family, along with many neighbors now, have placed solar panels on our roofs.  We did so because it was cost effective over time and good for the environment.  We personally paid $20,000 up front for this investment knowing it would take about 7 years before we broke even.  What Rocky Mountain Power wants to do now, after reading the lawyer brief and the other paperwork on this pet project, is SB115 wants to allow RMP to increase the rates of access to the grid for those of us with solar power.  Politicians, you are being deceived by RMP.  Look at the facts:

We paid for access to the grid by having a net meter installed at our homes/businesses on our dime.

We do NOT get paid for our energy-we first use what we get from our panels then send the excess back to RMP to earn as credits to be used during ‘dark’ times.

We collect ‘credits’ for the energy we send back to the grid-GREEN energy which they then turn around and sell back at a higher cost (see your energy bill). We do not get paid anything for this green energy, we use what we do, then send the extra back and receive the credit for that energy, gathering it and using it over the course of 11 months.

 March 10th every year, any credit we have not used of energy RMP KEEPS for themselves as green energy, then sells it off again as CLEAN energy (again at a serious profit).  They then also KEEP any extra solar power produced by our systems for the next month and ‘donate’ it to the less fortunate without our approval.  This means, politicians, that RMP is making money off of it’s solar customers, plenty of money, to pay for any grid usage.  That also means that we, the solar power owners, are PAYING for their clean energy and increased profits from the clean energy (we paid for the panels, remember?). In addition, our solar panel arrays help RMP because they do not have to facilitate as many improvements in their system to meet the strict EPA requirements that are increasingly stringent each year.  Solar customers are, in essence, paying for their improvements!

Basically politicians, those of us with solar power systems are providing PROFIT for RMP, and now they want to jack up prices for us?  They want to drive out private solar arrays so that THEY get all of the profit.  DO NOT allow RMP this power.  Even President Obama came and approved a solar program here in Utah to help clean up the air.  Our capitalist economy should allow any good companies providing solar systems to continue if people will pay for it.   If RMP has the power to increase costs, personal solar power systems will no longer be an option.  Thousands of jobs will be lost.  Thousands of Utahn’s will lose their $10,000+ investments.  Nobody wants to pay an excessive amount of money for energy-which is what RMP wants in order to keep their monopoly and continue to make massive profits.  STOP this insane bill from being passed in the House.  This is ridiculous.  I can personally guarantee that if this SB115 bill goes through there will be a huge lawsuit just as Nevada is facing, votes for next term will be lost, and Utah will be for the worse for it’s efforts to obtain better air as we attempt to clean up some of the air.

I plead with all of you to look closely at this SB115 bill and vote it down.  Do not give RMP the power to circumvent the Utah State Commission for energy which regulates this energy monopoly. To do so would be disastrous for thousands of Utah families and businesses.   Vote NO on SB115.


Ben and Tamara Johnson

Syracuse, UT

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