[Ok-sus] New clean energy tariff

Whitney Pearson whitneyppearson at gmail.com
Fri Apr 25 16:07:16 UTC 2014


Luckily, those who already have distributed generation installed on their
property will not be be affected. Also, there is still an opportunity to
make sure a higher tariff is not implemented on customers who install DG on
their property in the future.  Please see the executive order that was
issued along with the signing of the bill (something that has not happened
in Oklahoma previously) https://www.sos.ok.gov/documents/filelog/89908.pdf
I believe the intent of this order was to direct the implementation of this
legislation and make sure that there is an open process that takes both the
value of DG into consideration and input from all stakeholders.  This means
that with a good cost benefit analysis - we can prove that customers with
DG should not be taxed.  (AND we'll need support from DG advocates when
this comes up at the Corp Com!)

This was an effort backed by the major utilities (OG&E and PSO) and will
only relate to utilities regulated by the Corporation Commission.  They did
a very good job disseminating confusing information about fairness between
customers, etc. As you can see by the votes in both Chambers - 0 no votes
from the Senate and in the House, only 5 voted no - many friends of clean
energy were missing from the no vote list. And make no mistake, between
Sierra Club and the Solar Alliance every legislator was well aware of our

Please see some of the recent coverage below.  I think these stories best
describe the process moving forward.
There was actually a lot of media coverage both local and national on this
issue. (You can google Oklahoma Solar and lots of stories will pop up.

> *Okla. governor signs distributed generation bill, adds order clarifying
> tariffs*
> Edward Klump, E&E reporter
> Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
> Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed a bill designed to establish a new
> tariff structure for future distributed generation installations and then
> added an executive order that backed away from the idea of a mandate.
> Fallin, in an order issued yesterday, said *S.B. 1456*<http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=SB1456&Session=1400> requires
> retail electric suppliers to take a tariff application to the Oklahoma
> Corporation Commission to determine the best way to account for
> infrastructure costs related to distributed generation.
> "The intent of this Bill is to constrain the Corporation Commission's
> consideration and approval of tariff applications with respect to
> distributed generation customers," Fallin said in the document. "This Bill
> does not mandate tariffs or other increases for distributed generation
> customers."
> Fallin then went on to describe how executive agencies will be expected to
> implement the bill. She called for support of all forms of energy,
> including fossil fuels and renewable sources such as wind and solar, as
> outlined in the*Oklahoma First Energy Plan*<http://www.ok.gov/energy/documents/Governor%20Fallin's%20Energy%20Plan.pdf> that
> Fallin released in 2011.
> S.B. 1456 had support from large electric companies, including OGE Energy
> Corp. and Public Service Company of Oklahoma. Backers said the bill would
> ensure that users of distributed electricity help pay to maintain
> infrastructure.
> Opponents such as the Sierra Club and Alliance for Solar Choice said the
> proposal would hinder future developments while not reflecting the benefits
> of onsite power.
> Whitney Pearson, a Beyond Coal organizer with the Sierra Club in Oklahoma,
> said she was pleased with the language in the governor's order and comments
> that took into consideration the value of renewable energy and distributed
> generation.
> "If there will be no mandate for utilities to implement a surcharge, then
> that's definitely better than it could have been," Pearson said in an
> interview. She said her group looks forward to "engaging at the Corporation
> Commission."
> Stan Whiteford, a spokesman for the Public Service Company of Oklahoma,
> said the company had sought to achieve fairness to all customers through
> S.B. 1456.
> "We feel that we made a good stride" in that direction, he said.
> The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is the tariff-making body for public
> utilities in the state. Matt Skinner, a spokesman, has said the commission
> was taking no position on the pending bill. The issue would be part of the
> commission's responsibility if it gained approval, according to Skinner.
> The state's House of Representatives passed the bill earlier this month
> with a vote of 83-5. That followed passage in March by the Senate through a
> 41-0 vote. The measure was to take effect in November of this year, while
> companies had until the end of 2015 to establish tariffs.
> The legislation wouldn't apply to existing distributed generation users
> connected to the grid, state Sen. AJ Griffin, a sponsor of the bill, said
> previously. It also wouldn't apply to those who aren't connected to the
> grid at all, she said. And the bill indicated it didn't target emergency
> generators.
> Griffin has said any problems could be addressed during a legislative
> session next year.
> About 350 Oklahoma individuals and businesses use distributed power
> created by wind or solar equipment, according to Fallin's executive order.
> "While these customers will not be affected by this Bill, this number will
> grow significantly in the future," Fallin said. "This is an exciting
> development and one this Bill encourages."
> Fallin said properly incorporating distributed power "will require strict
> scrutiny from the Corporation Commission," and she said the bill's intent
> "is to protect all Oklahoma customers and encourage all forms of Oklahoma
> energy use."
> "Further, this evaluation mandates inclusion of all stakeholders,
> including representatives of the solar and distributed wind industries, and
> utilities," Fallin said.
> The legislation allows the commission to consider alternatives, including
> other rate reforms such as more time-of-use rates, minimum bills and demand
> charges, before implementing any fixed charges, she said.
> "A proper and required examination of these and other rate reforms will
> ensure that Oklahoma appropriately implements the Oklahoma First Energy
> Plan while protecting future distributed generation customers," Fallin said.

On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM, Vicke Adams <vicke at vickeadams.com> wrote:

>  Is anyone else upset about the new fees that are now going to be
> assessed on Oklahomans that have solar or wind energy? This legislature
> is not in touch with reality. How and why are they penalizing me for trying
> to be more sustainable, not to mention to have a source of energy when
> the grid is down? I am located in a very rural area. I spent over $6000
> to have a small solar power system that provides electricity to a portion
> of my cabin, It allows me to keep functioning when the grid is down. Just
> this week the grid was down in my area for almost four hours. No storms,
> no explanations. But, now that same utility company will have the right
> to charge me a monthly fee because I have solar panels on my roof!
> I called my state representative and senator as well as others to ask
> them not to vote for this bill. I hope others were doing the same. What I
> fear is that this terrible bill was passed through both houses and signed
> by the governor today in such a slick, quiet way that most people
> probably don't even know it has happened. I keep waiting for the outrage
> but so far, I'm not seeing or hearing any coverage.
> What's up with this? I'm about ready to drive to the capitol and go
> office to office registering my displeasure with the entire place.
> Although, I fear that I would end up in jail and then who would be here to milk
> the goats that night?
> Vicke - One really unhappy Oklahoman
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