Bridger Valley Electric Net Metering Agreement Petition

Bridger Valley Electric Net Metering Agreement Petition

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Trina Cervantes started this petition to Bridger Valley Electric Association

This petition echos the sentiment or this letter and files an official petition with the company Bridger Valley Electric Association. 

October 5, 2021

Bridger Valley Electric Association 


Lyman Wy, 82937

To the acting Board of Directors,


I write this letter of formal complaint against your updated tariff imposed upon Bridger Valley Electric Association (BVEA) Net Metering Customers. I am a Rural Power and Light customer through their solar panel program, but also remain a BVEA customer. The Tariff imposed on July 1st, 2021 negatively affects me and other solar customers in similar situations. 


My agreement was signed on April 27th with BVEA and submitted on my behalf June 3rd, 2021. In review of Section 2 and Section 16 of the net metering agreement enforced at that time, the agreement clearly states “this agreement will not be changed except by writing signed by both Member/Owner and BVEA.”  In my conversation with Jud Redden, General Manager on October 4th, 2021, I was informed that if I refused to sign the new agreement, it would not matter and I would be transferred to the new net metering agreement. This seems like a clear breach of contract between the two interested parties. The tariff in place at the time of my signing and the pay schedule, allowed for kilowatt hour to kilowatt hour exchange. One kilowatt hour sold by BVEA to customers is 7 cents and will be increasing 9% for this year. Under the agreement which was signed and filed on my behalf, I would achieve a 7 cent per kilowatt hour credit on my next bill. BVEA Board of Directors and General Manager Jud Redden have cut that cost significantly in their favor to accredit customers only 1 cent per kilowatt hour for their roll over credit for future months. This crediting rate decrease is significant and detrimental to Solar Customers utilizing the net metering system. The net metering agreement of the future should be amended to reflect reasonable pay out for net metering credits, and all existing agreements should be honored and grandfathered under the agreement signed and administered at the time of agreement. You should be aware that contact and complaints to Wyoming Powers Service Commission, and Wyoming Attorney General, Consumer Protection has been made by me, following a conversation I had October 4th with your General Manager Jud Redden. 


Per my conversation with Jud Redden on October 4th, he shamefully reported that Solar Energy was not of use or value to BVEA and Solar Customers were insignificant. This line of thought will only undermine and destroy the future of BVEA. Currently the Federal Government is pushing for more “Green Energy”. This pressure is significant. I fully acknowledge that and support the Coal Fired Power production which has provided warmth, economy, power and security to myself, my family, and my community. It certainly has a secure position as solar will not compete with power produced from these fossil fuels. The discussion is wide and deep to the benefits of solar vs. fossil fuels. However, I, like most people, can find the value of allowing both to complement each other, rather than compete with each other. Solar when done on net metering, with an appropriate net metering agreement, can have great outcomes for both BVEA and Solar Customers. Federal regulations are ever changing and will continue to push towards “Green Energy”. BVEA now has the option to survive, by allowing this significant division among customers or thrive and adapt by anticipating future regulation, and utilizing it to BVEA’s  advantage by on boarding other sources of energy.


BVEA will essentially have a local source of “free to you” energy, which they are still selling to other customers for 7.6 cents, and more following other expected energy increases. Customers are responsible for the overhead, which other producers would add into their charge. Customers are responsible for maintenance, insurance, taxes, land, and all equipment. Jud Reddin cited that it is unfair to other customers to increase power bills to allow Solar Customers to obtain their rightful output of kilowatt hours. While I understand the concern company wide, I also realize and appreciate the local economy and interdependence. I, and most people, would rather buy locally grown beef, from within my community where there is a sense of pride in our work, and quality guarantee for the product we produce. The money obtained from such a sale goes to support a local family, and not a commercial grower. It is much the same with local solar energy. Additionally BVEA has little to no overhead costs, and continues to provide service for the meter present on the property. At the current rate of $36 per meter, (which is high in comparison to other electric services within an hour drive) over 30 years, or the average length of a mortgage, this is a beneficial $12,960 paid to BVEA with little to no overhead or oversight.


When speaking with Mr. Reddin, on October 4th he cited that the “saved energy cost” from BVEA using or not using power produced from Coal fired energy is only 1 cent. This, he states, is why BVEA is only willing to pay customers 1 cent per kilowatt hour. I call this rubbish. Similar services, such as Rocky Mountain Power allows for net metering customers to be credited kilowatt hour for kilowatt hour. Rocky Mountain Power is governed by the same rules as BVEA. Claiming that this pay decrease rolls down hill from the state is a cop out and a slight of hands on BVEA’s part. Energy is marketable. Wyoming currently consumes only 7% of the power it produces (see The power produced by the State of Wyoming is significant, and valuable to the rest of the nation. While Wyoming does not have a Renewable Portfolio Standard, most states are adopting them and setting dates to be completely free of fossil fuels. Infact, Wyoming's coal industry has declined from 95% in the mid 2000’s to 80% in 2020. A staggering 15% decrease. California is one of the biggest markets to sell energy to, currently they are set to be fossil fuel free by 2045. This leaves 24 years of leeway for companies like BVEA to adapt and continue to thrive as energy markets change. Wyoming is one of the best rated states for its ability to produce solar. But yet, it was essentially untapped until 2019. Solar is the least producing energy source for the state, but it has tons of potential. As the Federal Government adapts to clean sources of energy, there are increasing incentives and credits offered to companies promoting and encouraging “green energy”. BVEA would benefit from solar customers generating “clean energy” and to begin utilizing this energy for the benefit of BVEA to insure the company’s future. 

So why you ask, is it a benefit to continue a helpful beneficial relationship with Solar Customers/Members? This is, in part the future of clean energy. It does not have the same detrimental effect on drinking water and clean air. New generations are opting to be better stewards of the environment, as we learn how our usage effects our resources. Our decision to go solar presents a situation for BVEA, that requires less energy from them no matter what source they use.  As this becomes available to Solar customers/ Members, we also become less of a burden on the grid.  Solar power is a great alternative to traditional power sources because of its lower environmental footprint, return on investment, lower maintenance, and secured long-term cost of the energy. Solar power helps to improve security of the power grid by producing local consistent power. 

Bridger Valley is a wonderful community, which we are all thankful and lucky to call home. BVEA’s approach to net metering as portrayed by Jud, was that net metering is a BVEA’s way or the highway agreement. Mr. Reddin made this very clear by stating if we refused to sign the new agreement we may obtain a battery system by means of our own financing. While solar customers are aware, and capable of obtaining modern batteries with low maintenance, to only benefit themselves; the benefit of utilizing net metering comes back to community interdependence and self-reliance. Given BVEA’s Cooperative status, it is imperative that it takes into consideration all members interest. My interest at this time is to have renewable energy that is reliable, while the great shift between energy sources and bureaucrats continues to quake in our country. My hope would be that BVEA and it’s board would look beyond their training and interests for now, and invest in the future and its people. I am sorely disappointed to say that despite claims to be “solar friendly” this is not what the actions of BVEA, the Board of Directors, and it’s General Manager are portraying with the hard and fast approach to solar. BVEA does have the opportunity to stand for what is right and correct. I urge the Board and General Manager to grant grandfathering rights to those signed to the previous agreement and to reconsider the net metering agreement and the tarriff, rewrite and submit it to the Wyoming State Joint Powers Commission and abide on better terms with its members. I request a time to present my case at the next Board of Directors meeting to address my complaint if a resolve has not been met by that time. 



Trina Cervantes

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