As expected, TVA utilities respond to the Grid Access Charge with increased fixed fees

TVA utilities are responding to TVA’s rate structure change by increasing fixed fees for residential and small commercial customers. This runs contrary to TVA’s claims that these customers would see little to no impact on their bills. However, this is the simplest and least-risky for Local Power Companies (LPCs) to pass through TVA’s new Grid Access Charge (GAC) through to their customers. (LPCs are the utilities that supply power to the residential and small commercial customers across TVA’s system and are required to purchase all their power from TVA at wholesale rates.)

Local utility quietly clouds solar future

But this past August, our local electric utility company passed perhaps the worst solar power policy in the south. Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) introduced an extremely complicated electric, water and sewer rate increase the same week historic, 1,000-year flooding occurred in Louisiana. The new rate structure for net metered customers, including solar power families like mine, is likely to double monthly electric bills, and double the length of time it takes for a solar panel system to pay for itself. The new policy effectively acts as a giant tax on solar power. Solar tax credits are being phased out, and when coupled with LUS’s new solar tax, it is unlikely that solar power systems would ever pay for themselves.