The New Oncor Is Going After a New Target: Homeowners With Solar Panels

If this how the new Oncor Electric Delivery Co. plans to do business, look out, greenies.The state’s largest regulated utility wants to add a monthly minimum charge for homeowners who have solar panels, wind turbines and storage batteries. That covers about 10,000 customers in the Oncor service area, which includes North Texas.Oncor did not propose a separate fee for big companies with rooftop solar systems, such as Wal-Mart, Ikea and Costco. They’re already paying their fair share, Oncor said.The new minimum, projected to be about $40 a month, must be approved by the state Public Utility Commission, and that won’t be easy. Last year, El Paso Electric proposed a similar fee that didn’t get through. Nationwide, regulators have rejected comparable requests from many utilities.In Texas, a typical home solar system costs about $13,000 after federal tax credits. It usually takes about 10 years to recoup the investment through energy savings, and the new Oncor fee would extend that timetable.  Continue reading...

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