Renewable energy supporters in Utah are cheering a recent order which will make renewable energy systems such as wind turbines and solar panels more cost effective for consumers.
On February 12, 2009, the Utah Public Service Commission issued an order revising the Rocky Mountain Power net metering policy. In the past customers who own renewable-energy facilities were credited for excess generation based on an avoided-cost calculation, which results in a low financial benefit to the customer. The new net-metering policy provides a "full retail" or dollar-for-dollar credit for every kilowatt-hour of excess power generation, creating a much greater incentive for renewable-energy production by residential, commercial and industrial consumers. In addition, the order declared that renewable energy certificates shall be "deemed owned by the net-metering customer or as otherwise agreed to or designated by the net-metering customer." The PSC order will become effective on April 1, 2009.
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, both supporters of renewable energy and this net-metering policy change, are reportedly investigating ways to promote investment in solar power in the region having jointly received a Solar America grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.