Media: Rate impacts of decoupling in Minnesota are minimal so far (Midwest Energy News)
Sep 8, 2016
From Midwest Energy News:
...CenterPoint is one of the first two gas utilities in Minnesota to “decouple” energy sales from profits. And it is by far the largest natural gas utility in the state to adopt decoupling, with more than 840,000 customers. Xcel Energy, the state’s largest utility, began a pilot program last January of decoupling bills for residential and a small general-service customers...
...Mike Bull, spokesperson for the Center for Energy and Environment, agrees that decoupling can benefit both power providers and consumers. On the one hand, it takes pressure off of utilities to focus on selling more energy. On the other, customers will likely stop being “penalized” for adding solar panels or being subjected to fixed charges that cannot be avoided, he said.
Customers adding energy efficiency or renewable energy should in theory see their bills decline. The rise of fixed charges has diminished that outcome.
“The downside associated with fixed charges on the customer side is that they are being penalized for the energy conservation they are making,” Bull said...
Read the full article at Midwest Energy News
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