A special Board of Public Utilities meeting held Friday to discuss proposed changes to the electric rate structure drew approximately 15 members of the public.
Most of the public comment centered on a proposal to charge customers with home photovoltaic systems a $10 distributed generation fee beginning in January, increasing to $12 in July, in order to recover infrastructure costs.
Solar supporters asked BPU to take a broader look before agreeing to that rate structure, such as analyzing cost/benefits and looking at alternatives such as selling Renewable Energy Credits from home PV generation to recover costs.
"I think it's important that the board realize that this is not simply a simple economic calculation that you can use to calculate a rate structure. What you are really facing is a matter of public policy in this county as to how we're going to treat distributed power production, green energy, etc," Mike Wheeler said.
So while I understand your concerns and dilemmas on the rate structure, it's most important that this board consider the public policy that comes about because of your decision."
Several citizens asked the board to delay implementation until options were thoroughly evaluated, since the number of home solar households just recently increased from 36 users to 44.