While it is good to read that the Nevada Public Utilities Commission has reversed course and decided to grandfather the rates for existing rooftop solar panel owners, what is the future for home-based power generation?
Anyone contemplating installing such panels in the future still will face the much higher connection fees and much lower reimbursement for electricity uploaded to the grid. Though there is still that 30 percent federal tax credit, the chances of new solar installation ever providing a return on investment is nil.
The utility power companies in Nevada don’t want you to cut the cord. The rate schedule is an anti-innovation stance.
It is like taxing the oil well drillers to protect the whale oil industry.
If the market is to work, there ought to be a foreseeable avenue by which a savvy homeowner could put up solar panels and windmills, invest in batteries and hydrogen-powered fuel cells or other generators, as well as efficient appliances, to become free of the grid. But the disincentives created by the PUC make that a pipe dream.
The higher connection fee is ludicrous. There is no difference between generating your own power and simply being frugal by turning up the thermostat in the summer. As for the lower reimbursement rate for uploaded power, the PUC fails to take into account the power is uploaded during peak demand time when the power company must pay three or four times more on the open market and there is no transmission line cost or ohms drop.
Maybe there should have been a fee charged to those buying new fangled refrigerators to protect the job of the ice delivery man.