This is going nowhere. The solar industry has been waiting for new regulations for grid tied systems since before the pilot program ended. Now – three weeks after the closure of this pilot program – ARESEP has burdened our Solar community with such an unfair tariff that only large commercial companies can benefit by it. From no regulation we’ve gone to unacceptable regulation.
Put simply, ARESEP, who regulates all power companies, wants to charge by the kWh what someone produces with his solar system. This means they’ll charge you for your savings on electric consumption; about 25% of what you’d have paid if you just bought it straight from the power company! Such a deal!
If they’d put a reasonable tariff, say only against the cost of power generation and distribution, I mean, it’s us investing our money and making the power that the various companies can use, I’d think that would be fair, don’t you?
That is, as of last Thursday, 26 of March, ARESEP approved this regulation and in the coming week, will submit it to La Gaceta. After that, there are 3 days in which people can, and Should, ask the regulator to reconsider this way of charging for Solar generation.
It is my understanding that this tariff will be 27 Colones for every kWh used, no matter if the panels produced it; or if it comes from a power company like ICE. In other words, they’re charging us for the loss of income THEY have; because we decided to produce our own electricity using solar panels. Yes, and protecting an old, dirty and inefficient system, sad in a way… did sail makers act this way when steam ships came into use? Probably…
Or to make it Chrystal clear; they add up all costs of production by the Power Companies for a Year, then Divide that number by the amount of electricity they sell in the same period. If their own inefficiency is too high (….duhh..) it will be compensated by solar producers like us. Read that again…
Another way of seeing it is if you spend money on high tech lights for your house, run the pool pump fewer hours and put in a gas stove, Power Companies won’t charge you for your savings. However, if you put up Solar Panels, they want a big chunk of the money you save. It’s a stacked deck.
If ARESEP ties a tariff to the operational costs of the power companies, they won’t be following their own mandate, which is to develop a real cost of operation.
Knowing the cost of production is important, to know the demand of the country, but they can’t charge the solar industry for that, hell, we’re their friends!
In fact, this tariff will only complicate an already smooth working industry by measuring the production by a meter accessible to the electric company, not yet invented, at the source, instead of a simple-already-working monitoring system, they’ll make it impossible to implement… which makes me wonder if they even want solar energy in Costa Rica.
This is not the proper function of government agencies…. to throw nets in the river of commerce by its own people and for their own good. This tariff will waste time and resources of the very people who provide the service, i.e., Solar Companies, banks and installers; trying to make Solar Energy affordable for the average home owner.
In the end, a high tariff will kill the Goose-Who-Laid-the-Golden Egg; and along with it, a chance for clean, affordable electricity… at least for homeowners. What a shame.
What can I do? This Monday there will be Public Hearings at 5:00 p.m. in 9 locations in Costa Rica. Find one close to you and SPEAK if you don’t agree. Follow Purasol on Facebook too, for latest updates.
Oh, if you speakie de Spanish, go here… http://www.monumental.co.cr/programas/90/Nuestra-Voz