Ultra Efficient Lighting

Jack Smith

What the federal government gives with one hand our states and utilities take with the other.

With my current REP I have to generate a surplus of about 160KWh a month to cover my GAC (Grid Access Charges). It's becoming very hard to generate enough surplus to roll over to the next month.


6 reasons why grid access charges should not be part of utility rates.

"Among the most extreme proposed actions in successor NEM policies is the grid access charge, or GAC, under which adopters, for example, rooftop solar owners, pay a $/kW amount based on the capacity of their behind-the-meter distributed generation system.

GACs are admittedly a (1) very effective, (2) intuitive, (3) simple to apply and (4) easy to understand tool in forcing distributed generation adopters to pay their share toward the power grid’s fixed and demand costs.

Six reasons why GACs should be eliminated from utilities’ rates

1. GACs have a dual-effect on stalling rooftop solar adoption growth

Although GACs are very effective in recovering utility fixed and demand costs and reducing cross-subsidies, they do so regressively posing a serious risk to the sustainable spread of rooftop solar.

2. GACs do not encourage storage adoption

Installing standalone storage, i.e., without solar, to circumvent GACs, makes the storage investment economically infeasible.

3. GACs do not encourage rational consumption and energy conservation

GACs do not directly incentivize wiser energy consumption and more informed consumption decisions because the lump sum charge is independent of customer’s consumption. In fact, GACs diminish the value of consumption rationality, as they reduce the portion of the bill that is affected by consumption patterns.

4. GACs are prone to inequities

GACs, however, levy a uniform charge on all prosumers regardless of their contribution to the grid. Furthermore, GACs do not differentiate between efficient and inefficient distributed generation systems — in both cases, the customer will face the same $/kW installed capacity charge.

5. GACs reduce customer control over their energy bill
Prosumers cannot avoid paying GACs by reducing household consumption or installing energy-efficient devices. In fact, the only way to avoid paying GACs is to stop being a DER adopter.


6. GACs accelerate grid defection
Increasing GACs strengthen the case for off-the-grid operation, which significantly reduces utility energy sales, causing  potentially higher retail prices for other customers."

I can assure you I am weighing my options to add storage to my solar array. I can't decide if I should wait till there is a selection of V2G autos at reasonable prices or add a couple of stationary batteries.

Dharma Dharmarajan

I am certain there will be a push back and a lawsuit by the erstwhile Texas AG (enjoined by other fossil fuel producing and RED STATES), against such standards and the shortsighted argument that the Feds cannot pick winners & losers! The O$G lobbyists will line his pockets to help his cause!! I rest my case!! 

Mark Witte