Warwick Sabin’s Jan. 18 column, “Empowered,” addresses net metering and the electric rate increase in North Little Rock.

Sabin relies upon a Network for New Energy Choices report that significantly mischaracterizes the record and makes inaccurate statements about net metering requirements in Arkansas.

The article questions the compensation utilities pay for the electricity generated by net metering customers. Consistent with state law, the commission requires utilities to credit net metering customers at the full retail rate for all electricity up to those customers’ full monthly needs. Contrary to the article’s suggestion, the commission rejected the utilities’ arguments regarding cross subsidies and lost revenue. The commission established a significantly greater value for the electricity credited to net metering customers than the rate suggested by the utilities and the amounts utilities pay for electricity from other customer-owned generation.

The article questions the lack of compensation for electricity generated in excess of net metering customers’ monthly requirements. Act 1781 of 2001 defines net metering as “measuring the difference between electricity supplied by an electric utility and the electricity generated by a net metering customer and fed back to the electric utility over the applicable billing period.” The act states that the electricity from a net metering facility “is intended primarily to offset all or a part of the net metering customer requirements for electricity.” The intended benefit associated with net metering is offsetting a customer’s monthly usage, thus it is not intended to be a resource to the utility. Under the act, net metering customers benefit from a credit, at the full retail rate, for all electricity generated up to the customer’s full monthly needs.

Under state law, the commission does not have jurisdiction over the rates or service provided by the North Little Rock municipal electric department or any other municipal utility.

The commission understands the effects of utility rates on customers and takes very seriously its obligation to ensure that customers receive safe and reliable utility service at a reasonable price. The commission works diligently to ensure that utility rates are not higher than required by law.

Sandra Hochstetter, chairman, Arkansas Public Service Commission

Daryl E. Bassett, commissioner

Randy Bynum, commissioner

Texas doesn’t care

In your Jan. 18 edition, Jim Harris wrote, “...He (Broyles) sounded generally giddy, as if the Hogs had just beaten Texas.”

The thing is, no one in Texas cares when the Longhorns play Arkansas. Only people in Arkansas care.

Tony Tabor

Little Rock

Pryor and Gonzales

Don’t you find it ironic that U.S. Mark “Judas” Pryor, who supported Alberto Gonzales for attorney general, now finds the “legal” yet political actions of the attorney general — in appointing a U.S. attorney in Little Rock without going through a Senate confirmation — unacceptable?

Pryor knew that Alberto Gonzales spearheaded the Bush administration’s legal justification for spying on American citizens, kidnapping individuals and shipping them to other countries for confinement and torture. To Pryor, those issues should not have been a reason to object to, or vote against, his appointment as attorney general.

Why would Pryor be surprised that a person who supported the violation of international treaties, the violation of the Bill of Rights and Constitution, and simple common Christian behavior, performed a “legal” action but one that goes against protocol and tradition?



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