There is a rate case before the Public Service Commission. It is being brought before them by that spoiled child called NorthWestern Energy. They want a “demand charge” on all solar powered homes, and its sole purpose is to punish and discourage current and future home owners who choose to install or have installed solar panels on their sites.
I am one who has already installed panels on my roof. It is the most economical thing my wife and I have done to our home. For the cost of a used pickup truck, we are generating meaningful power for ourselves and our neighbors. The power company gets our excess generation, for what amounts to an interest free loan. It goes to our immediate neighborhood, not along power lines from a central power plant miles away. Unlike most other things that our culture says you should buy, solar panels will pay off.
NWE wants to end all this and continue their monopoly, force their business on us and demand, without oversight and sense, that we buy their product. Does that appeal to Montanans? If so, we are in need of realizing who our friends are and who seeks to hurt us, laughing all the way to the bank.
So, we are being discriminated against by the hoped for “demand charge” which I only understand will cost us a lot of money. It is purposefully complicated, as are lots of things in the world of monopolies. Public Service commissioners are elected to strike down these kinds of unfair measures. I want them to do their job, and in the monopolistic arena of NWE, they must!
Please pay attention to this. Patterns may be set in motion that will affect all ratepayers in the future, not just those with solar installations.