News

Utilities and Regulators: Alternative Energy not the Complete Solution

Utilities and Regulators: Alternative Energy not the Complete Solution

Photo: clipart.com

Utility companies and utility regulators see a problem coming, and there’s no easy answer.

The problem is utility companies that are required by law to serve every home and business. Presumably every one of those places has an account and pays for the gas or electricity, as well as the existence of the network. But what if big customers start using solar or wind for electricity? They’ll no longer be billed, but the company is still going to have to provide a service line to their address.

“There are people that are going to be left at the end of that line who can’t put the solar panel on their house, they can’t afford to put the wind turbine up, they can’t do the geothermal, and so are you going to leave them with all of the bills for all of those lines that are out there if customers leave the grid? It’s a huge issue,” says Doug Scott, chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission.”

It’s not fair to charge people or businesses for an electrical or natural gas system that they’re not using, but it’s not fair to charge other customers for keeping the network in place for service to those addresses, should it ever be needed.

Scott says the use of solar power to generate electricity has gone up 4,000 percent over the last seven years.

Recent Headlines

10 hours ago in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘How To Be Single’ feels the same while trying too hard to be different

22-overlay-9

"How to Be Single" makes a valiant attempt to send up rom-com clichés but it borrows so much from other, better movies that you start to wonder if the film’s title should be "How to Commit Larceny."

12 hours ago in Music

Springsteen promises to show his mind in autobiography

springsteen

Springsteen, 66, has been working on the autobiography, called "Born to Run," for seven years.

13 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Star Wars’ producers face charges in Harrison Ford’s on-set accident

18-overlay-7

The "Indiana Jones" star broke his leg when the door of the Millennium Falcon fell on him during filming in 2014.