Midwest Energy News posted another article on the Iowa feed in Tariff effort, examining Iowa utility claims that it’s unfair for their customers to “subsidize” another customers wind or solar facility. John Farrell’s and Paul Gipe’s comments in the article point out the standard utility talking point can be misleading. A recent California study listing benefits of distributed generation “found despite utilities’ claims about" (self generating) "customers not paying their fair share of the fixed costs, it’s actually the opposite,” Farrell said.
“In other words, California customers who have used solar panels to lower their electric bills are the ones subsidizing everybody else”, as distributed generation brings numerous benefits to ratepayers. Gipe also cuts through utility talking points nicely, so I encourage folks to check out the article.
A number of Iowa utilities offer discounted rates to customers who switch to electric heat, and see no problem requiring non electric heat customers to “subsidize” that program. That, in combination with the utilities not mentioning customer owned benefits to ratepayers, and not releasing information about their currents cost of generation, make the subsidization claim a weak one.