Libertarian Party of Colorado: Solar Owners to be punished by government granted power monopoly

Posted by Severin Schneider at LP Colorado blog:

DENVER — Solar energy customers are worried a new fee proposed by Xcel Energy would punish new customers for getting solar panels.

I understand their anger.

I would like to point out a couple of things. First off it is illegal not to hook up to the grid in most places. It is also illegal to sell off extra electricity to your neighbors, you are required by law to only sell off extra electricity to the government granted monopoly power company. The third problem I see is that the government enforces Xcels monopoly and then claims that because they do, they then need to regulate it through government as the government has removed the natural regulation that comes with competition in an open market. This creates a situation where the victims (in this case the owners of solar panels) are forced to pay for a service they may or may not want, and their only recourse is to go to the PUC and beg them not to allow these fees by Xcel, Xcel on the other hand is also going to the PUC armed with lots of money and a knowledge of the law, often times they have personal relationships with the regulators, etc. So it may be that the solar owners will be the victors, but they are going into the battle at a disadvantage, and even if they win, it won’t be a win forever. Xcel will keep coming back and asking for this, Xcel stands to gain millions from the arbitrary decisions of a handful of bureaucrats, the solar panel guys stand to lose a few dollars a month, who has a stronger incentive to continue fight these rules?

5 thoughts on “Libertarian Party of Colorado: Solar Owners to be punished by government granted power monopoly

  1. Michael Seebeck

    All true. Xcel punishes what they consider to not be their standard of “ideal” ultility use–they penalize you for using too little and penalize you for using too much.

    The simple solution is to either give away the excess power, or store it in large batteries, or simply light up the neighborhood.

    BTW, check out and for some of the latest in the private sector solar technology, what the media rarely talks about.

  2. Donald R Lake

    What the solar folks rarely talk about is the poor performance of solar from the 1970s and 1980s. In Arizona, on house had flat panels, the other tracking curved units Both systems failed to produce hot water on their own. Ya shut off the utilities and the water temperature went down to room temperature.

    Tread carefully and do not pay up front. When the heat fails —- cut off the payments!

  3. Gene Trosper

    Hmmm….black market energy. I’ve never even thought of that possibility.

  4. Ayn R. Key

    And so it begins.

    As things deteriorate, more people are going to work for more self-reliance. And as a result those who have government granted monopolies will begin to fight against it. Fewer wells, fewer solar panels, more regulation.

  5. Susan Hogarth

    Gene @3

    I have. We would never sell back to the rid, but we’d help a neighbor out if needed.

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