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  • Writer's pictureKyle Crider

Let the PSC Know You Want A Public Hearing!

Friends of transparency in government - including and especially the Public Service Commission (PSC) - let the PSC know you want a public hearing.

Please review Southern Environmental Law Center's request for a public hearing on the 'solar tax' issue. If ever there was a need for a real public hearing by the PSC this issue demands one. It is a major item of discussion in other states, where the PSC is more open. See my discussion at the end of this message in my draft white paper: "Transparency Needed Now: Alabama Power and the Alabama Public Service Commission".

From Southern Environmental Law Center's filing with the PSC on Dec. 21, 2018:

Request for Hearing: Before issuing an order affecting the rates in Rate Rider RGB, Part B, the Commission should set a hearing as requested by Complainants. The evidence and testimony presented during the evidentiary cycle established by the Commission reveal fundamental differences between the opposing expert witnesses as to the proper method of calculation for Rate Rider RGB, Part B, and the methodology and data used to obtain these charges. A fair and open hearing on this matter would be beneficial to all parties and the public. In addition, this matter is one of significant public interest, as it implicates the rights of customers to pursue an increasingly economic means of reducing their electricity costs.   

This is a crucial test case for the PSC. They must not refuse a public hearing on this issue.  How to contact the PSC by email:

From Lanning Transparency white paper:

The imposition of the extra charge of $5 per kW nameplate capacity of the self-generating electricity source has created a major disincentive to solar installation and jobs in APC territory - the southern 2/3 of the state. Taking this vote without any notification of affected parties or discussion of its impacts or analysis of actual costs or benefits to the system is just one example of the consequences of the lack of transparency at the PSC.
 The Southern Environmental Law Center has filed a complaint with the PSC on behalf of Gasp and some of its members about the inappropriateness of the tariff imposed on self-generated electricity with grid backup. APC responded with a request to dismiss their complaint and to raise the fee. This process is only partially available for public view, through searching the proceedings file located on the PSC website for dockets #U-4226 and #32767. If depositions are taken, they won’t be available to the public and the process will not necessarily result in a public hearing.[1]
This question of the value of solar and its contribution to the grid is being debated all over the country – in public – but not in Alabama.[2]

[1] Redacted Testimony of Karl Rabago and Accompanying Exhibits Filed by Southern Environmental Law Center

Joyce A. Lanning Birmingham, AL M: 205-936-4212



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