Summer Week #17: Wednesday, October 1st– Group A EOs
It is not often that I use the platform of our weekly newsletter for a direct political reason, but today I am.
Madison Gas & Electric has proposed a rate change, which in my view, goes in the wrong direction.
Here the gist of it: MGE wants to raise the fixed cost of using electricity. Meanwhile, they are asking to lower the price they charge per kilowatt hour of electricity used.
The end result will be to discourage conservation.
You see, if the fixed rate is increased, then electricity becomes more expensive no matter how much you use. So those who are working to reduce their use and conserve are penalized more heavily by this rate system. Meanwhile, reducing the actual cost each kilowatt hour used, encourages more use.
Particularly affected by these new rates would be folks looking to install solar or other renewable energy. You see, even if we produce 100% of the electricity we use with our solar panels on the farm, we still have to pay MGE for the fixed cost of having an electrical service. Right now, on our farm we have 3 separate services. Each one gets billed for the fixed costs. MGE wants to double these fixed costs. For us, it certainly changes the economics of our solar panel installation for the worse. Other businesses or individuals looking to install systems in the future may decide not to, based on the much slower payback this rate change will create.
While I understand that MGE should still receive some money from us in order for us to have access to the grid they help upkeep, their new rate proposals seem directly aimed at stifling the renewable energy sector in Wisconsin.
I feel so deeply about this issue, that I wanted to share it with you, and to encourage you to voice your thoughts on it.
Currently MGE’s rate case is being reviewed by the Public Service Commission(PSC) of Wisconsin. They have an open comment period until October 9th.
If you care about the future of renewable energy in Wisconsin, please take the time to learn about this rate case and to comment online to the PSC.