Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Solar Customers Subsidize El Paso Electric Company

Future of El Paso Electric
Taking a page from the Koch brothers and groups such as ALEC, El Paso Electric claims that solar users are "free loaders" or "free riders" subsidized by themselves while relying on non-solar users to expand and maintain the grid. 

The free loader is El Paso Electric Company.

Basic Points On How Solar Saves The Utility Money:

  1. Solar users sell electricity back to the utility at 2.5 cents and El Paso Electric Company (EPEC) resells it to their neighbors for 10+ cents. 
  2. Solar reduces transmission and distribution costs on the grid.
  3. It reduces wear and tear on other equipment on the grid such as transformers, etc. 
  4. It reduces man hours and other equipment costs to repair the grid.
  5. Solar is produced and used onsite: no carbon, no water, no use of the grid when consuming 100% of solar. Therefore solar users are not adding wear and tear to the grid which saves the utility money. 
  6. Solar uses no water. How much water does it take to frack a gas well? How much water is used at each gas plant across our city to produce electricity?  We are in the desert!  Water matters and solar saves water!
  7. Environmental savings include clean air and clean, more abundant water. 
  8. Solar creates JOBS. Solar is the 21st century solution to energy independence. Solar creates commerce, which puts more meters on EPEC’s grid which is a good thing for them too! Solar will create more jobs, more students, more meters, and more revenue for the city.  We could become a hub for new manufacturing jobs such as Solar Plants, Inverter Plants, Racking Plants, etc. 
  9. Solar helps reduce peak loads especially with western-facing solar energy systems. El Pasoans should be asking for a large rebate for any western-facing rooftops which would reduce load significantly from 3 PM to 7 PM every day of the year.  There is already a case study on this in Austin, Texas at the old Mueller Airport. It's called the Pecan Street Project.  Look up the solar neighborhood, they received larger rebates for western roofs, offset over 1MW of residential solar during peak and saves the city millions over 25 years. If we all did this across the city, we could reduce load.  Utility batteries are also a huge solution to peak load that would reduce our overall utility costs as well as reduce the rates for everyone. 
  10. Geothermal heat pumps on all AC units city wide could be a new rebate program!  This would encourage more job growth and reduce peak loads all summer long during the heaviest peak month. This would reduce the need for some of our current power plants and would reduce yearly peak. 
  11. Home battery backup systems could also be setup to shave every home’s peak demand from 3 PM to 7 PM year round.  This could cut peak to 250,000 homes in El Paso alone.  Peak doesn’t seem so scary now and seems much easier to solve, but they want 50-year power plants with 10% guaranteed rates of return from rate payers.  El Pasoans must get them to shut down plants and not keep building!  We need solar and wind farms, geothermal rebates, energy efficiency rebates, etc. These will create jobs, grow the city, and grow the utility's revenue long term. 
  12. Answers exist, but EPEC ignores them instead of innovating and expanding beyond antiquated business model ideas.


  1. You might qualify for a new solar rebate program.
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  2. Here's how to cut your electricity bill by 75% - DIY HOME ENERGY.

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