Energy Environment

Freedom is Charging People Who Generate Their Own Power

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is on a roll. After signing a bill into law that prohibits cities from passing their own minimum wage laws, she is expected to sign a bill that will charge a monthly fee for generating your own power.

On Monday, S.B. 1456 passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. The measure creates a new class of customers: those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. While those with systems already installed won’t be affected, the new class of customers will now be charged a monthly fee — a shift that happened quickly and caught many in the state off guard.

Proponents of the law say they’re “just trying to keep it fair” by imposing the fee which will “recover some of the infrastructure costs to send excess electricity” back to the grid.

If you live somewhere that has dealt with any form of natural disaster that cuts power for extended periods of time, you’d know that power companies already raise rates at their discretion to recover the cost of infrastructure.

And who are they ‘keeping it fair’ for? Power companies? Because obviously they need all the protection they can get.

I suppose it’s far more politically acceptable in Oklahoma to charge people who generate their own power a monthly fee instead of raising taxes on something more sensible like sugary drinks.