Monday, December 1, 2014

Walker PSC crony Ellen Nowak gets the job done, advised Utility Industry to raise Rates for Customers to discourage Solar Power.

The following statement by the solar industry is not hyperbolic when it comes to the recent decisions made by Wisconsin PSCregulator Ellen Nowak:
“Nowak should recuse herself before their rate decision becomes final,” Allicance for Solar Choice’s Bryan Miller said. “She’s behind the most expensive anti-solar ruling in the U.S. and we’re appealing it on both the substance and the process.”

A solar industry group appealing a decision to impose the most expensive solar fees in the U.S. said a Wisconsin regulator violated rules barring communication about pending cases.
The amazing example below is getting little attention in the state, and because of that, big energy here just might get away with the job killing base rate increase for solar customers that didn't succeed elsewhere. The shocking conflict of interest and professional advice given by the conservative PSC regulators appointed by Scott Walker, Ellen Nowak, is pretty much beyond words.

See for yourself if Ellen Nowak’s spokesman wasn't lying when she said straight faced Nowak didn't discuss the rate case at the conference with Klappa.    
Ellen Nowak, a regulator for the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, and Wisconsin Energy Corp. (WEC) Chief Executive Officer Gale Klappa participated in a panel together at a utility industry conference in June. Her discussions with Klappa at the conference should have disqualified her from voting on a pending rate case, said Bryan Miller, a co-chairman of the Alliance for Solar Choice.

Nowak told the audience June 10 at an Edison Electric Institute conference: “The traditional rate design will no longer work with the growth in the D.G. (distributed generation) environment … fixed fees so customers who produce their own power with rooftop solar systems continue to pay enough to cover the costs of maintaining the grid. We need to make more of the fixed costs more in line with fixed charges, particularly so those customers who don't participate in (distributed generation) are not paying for those who do."

Less than three weeks after the Edison Electric Institute event, the company submitted a detailed proposal that included a fixed fee for customers with solar power, sometimes called distributed generation or D.G..

Joel Rogers, a professor of administrative law at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, reviewed a transcript of her comments and said they could be seen as improperly offering advice. “Appearing on a panel together goes right up to the edge of impropriety, but giving advice goes beyond that,” Rogers said today in an interview. “She should have recused herself.”
Of course WE Energies had completely, more surreal take on the complaints over Nowak’s advice:
We Energies spokesman Barry McNulty said, "We're obviously very disappointed that the solar advocates would resort to these types of allegations after having lost on the merits." 
Yea, how desperate can the solar industry be for pointing out the obvious. But sadly this is only the beginning of future rate hikes:
This trend is set to continue in future rate cases as the current Wisconsin Public Service Commission chairman, Phil Montgomery, has stated that the only thing stopping him from approving even more drastic increases in fixed costs is "the principle of gradualism."
The attack on the green energy industry and the jobs that go with them, took off when Scott Walker became governor:
Focus had suspended renewables incentives in 2011, for one year, after the PSC concluded it had been spending too much on renewables, which don't provide as strong a payback that energy-saving efficiency projects do. We Energies and Renew Wisconsin have been at odds since We Energies terminated a renewable energy development program that provided incentives for churches and nonprofit groups to add solar. Utilities are also opposing moves to allow companies to build and own the solar panels that are on customers' rooftops. 

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