What UCARE is All About
UCARE is a grassroots organization made up of concerned Utah Citizens who oppose Rocky Mountain Power’s (RMP) intention to discourage private residential ownership of renewable energy sources, such as solar PV panels, in Utah. For example, in early 2014, RMP petitioned the Utah Public Service Commission (PSC) to charge a monthly fee for residential solar customers who “net meter”. Such a fee would seriously discourage private investment in renewable energy.
UCARE helped defeat the net metering fee proposal but the ‘war’ is not over. We anticipate that RMP will employ other approaches for discouraging any private renewable energy investments that could whittle away at RMP’s monopolistic control over electricity in Utah. Another risk is that RMP will work “behind the scenes” with Utah’s legislature to do an “end run” around the PSC by proposing legislation that would mandate some kind of “special customer handling” that would discourage private solar investments.
A Brief Statement of Philosophy by UCARE’s Founder, Mike Rossetti
UCARE is neither liberal nor conservative. Or, perhaps, UCARE is both ! Each member of UCARE has personal convictions about renewable energy: being stewards for the Earth, making personal choices, reducing their electric bills, and many others too numerous to mention. Regardless of our political leanings, we have joined together to fight for our rights to invest in what we believe is good for the Earth, good for us individually, and good for us as a community. We have no need of ‘overlords’ with a vested interest in protecting their source of income at our expense.
RMP masquerades their desire to maintain a monopoly in coal-fired electricity by claiming that private residential customers with solar are forcing the other, non-solar residential customers to pay for their systems through “cost shifting”. We provide good, solid evidence throughout this website and in our documents put before the Public Service Commission of Utah (PSC) that solar customers have no more impact on costs than do customers who conserve.
Understanding the true value of private investment in renewable energy requires some thinking. The arguments put forth by the energy monopolies in our country against renewable energy are simplistic and deliberately crafted to sway the average person to their position.
Why do the members of UCARE question RMP’s motives for fighting renewable energy? Because when we examine their claims, both in their filings and from words said to the media by their official representatives, we see the huge flaws in their arguments.
We conclude that RMP’s true purpose is to protect their monopoly in electricity production, their investment in coal mining, and the happiness of the stockholders over fairness to their customers.
The members of UCARE have no animus towards Rocky Mountain Power. In fact, we admire and applaud their dedicated employees, in particular those “in the trenches”, who give Utahns some of the most reliable electricity on the planet. They care, and we care. But we are disappointed that RMP’s leadership has bought into the nationwide effort by the fossil fuel energy industry who wants to suppress personal choice for clean energy.
Members of UCARE believe the best organization for determining what is ‘fair’ for all Utahns is the PSC and that the PSC is best equipped to analyze all of the factors relating to electricity production, air quality, renewable energy adoption and resource consumption. UCARE believes that, once all the facts are on the table, the PSC can design a rate structure that will treat all residential customers fairly while encouraging private investment in renewable energy.
If, once you have had a chance to consider the reasons why UCARE opposes RMP’s proposed net-metering fee, you believe as we do, we encourage you do one or more of the following :
Please continue on to the other pages on this web site for a thorough explanation as to why the power industry's arguments against renewable energy is flawed and, to use one of Rocky Mountain Power's favorite words, unfair.
* – In Arizona, the same organization backing Rocky Mountain Power, ALEC, proposed a $50 per month fee.