Part 4- The solution, decoupling

decoupling
This is part 4 of REIA-NM’s ongoing NM Rate Case series.

 

There is a situation where solar and electric utilities can be friends.  A different revenue model, called decoupling, allows utilities to profit from the number of customers served instead of the amount of power they sell.  This removes solar and energy efficiency as a threat to revenue.  It also allows utilities to increase profit by increasing reliability, efficiency, and service.  A decoupling regulation allows the utility to recoup fixed costs and ideally, earn extra rewards for achieving environmental targets desired by their customers.  California, where decoupling began in 1981, uses 55% less energy that the national average, even though the population grew.  A growing population means more customers to serve for the utilities.  California leads the nation in solar installations as well, and the state installed just over half of all the solar in the country.  If the renewable energy industry works with the utilities to find a grid 2.0 solution, the solar industry would thrive, continue to provide good jobs, and our utility will happily create more clean energy in New Mexico.

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