NorthWestern Energy Homepage
NWE Contact Bar, in Montana dial 1-888-467-2669, in South Dakota or Nebraska dial 1-800-245-6977
 
small brandNorthWestern Energy Blog

 

Really? Free Power?

Feb 12, 2015 |
Lately there have been some comments and editorials from those who want to expand current net metering programs asking what we do with the “free power” they put on our grid.  If only that were true, but it’s not.

First of all, none of the current systems produce power in large enough amounts that require us to do anything with it except to make sure it doesn’t cause voltage problems for the neighbors.  It’s absorbed onto the system. 

Secondly, the customers receive a full bill credit in the about of roughly 11-cents a kilowatt hour for the electricity they put on our system so that’s definitely not free.  Particularly when one considers their non-net metered neighbor is paying around six-cents a kilowatt hour for electricity supply. And, if they were selling it to us like any other supplier right now – the going rate would be in the range of about 3-5 cents for solar.  Still…not free.

So, where is the “free power” that they’re producing because someone is obviously paying for it?  Inquiring minds want to know.

We’re not opposed to solar. We’re not opposed to net-metering. We are opposed to expanding policies that subsidize one customer at the expense of another. There are ways to make this work for everyone. More on that in our next post. 

Leave a comment

Guidelines for Posting

We provide this online forum for customers to exchange ideas and opinions with us about a variety of issues and/or topics of interest. Constructive criticism, critical thinking and diverse opinions are welcome.  Profanity, name-calling, threating language or troll-like behavior is not.  Moderators will monitor comments to maintain the civility of this forum.  All Email addresses, if provided,  will be kept hidden from public view.  

If your comment isn't appearing online, perhaps:

  1. Your comment is in really poor taste (see above).
  2. Your comment had nothing to do with the issue being discussed in the post (i.e. trying to hijack the discussion).
  3. You did not provide the required name and email, used an alias or pretended to be someone that your aren’t.We keep your emails hidden, but we use our real names on this forum and we expect everyone else to do the same.
  4. Your comment is intended to sell or promote a product, service or company.
  5. You used real or implied profanity.(i.e. @#$^).
  6. Moderators haven’t yet reviewed comments for placement.We strive for timeliness, but comments made outside of normal business hours (i.e. nights, weekends and holidays) may not appear until the following business day.
  7. You included an attachment in your comment.We delete those immediately.
Contact Us | Terms of use | Glossary | PO Terms & Conditions | EEO | ©2016 NorthWestern Energy. All rights reserved.