Letters to the Editor

Melvin Ladousier: Monopoly status gives utilities unfair advantage over rooftop

Re “Our View: PUC shouldn’t blot out new solar power” (Page 5A, Nov. 5): How can it be that the Turlock Irrigation District was able to enact policy and rates that make solar installation a losing proposition for the consumer? It seems the California Public Utilities Commission and state regulators should be protecting consumers from “monopoly” practices. In most cases, the consumer’s location dictates the source of commercial electrical power available. TID has, in essence, used its status as sole provider to shut down the competition from rooftop solar.

This should trigger a Grand Jury investigation into unfair business practices, or a CPUC action with the backing of the Attorney General’s office to reverse TID’s policy or rate structure responsible for disincentivising solar power. It seems logical that every environmental organization ought to be screaming at the top of their financial lungs to promote solar as a means of reducing production of electrical power by burning fossil fuels.

Melvin Ladousier, Merced

Editor’s note: State regulations allow local public utility providers to cap the amount they are required to spend on “net energy metering.” Once that cap has been reached, the utilities are not required to pay the premium for new generation from additioinal rooftops.