Rural Solar Power Customers Could See Rate Hike

<p>(Grace Hood/CPR News)</p>
<p>Boulder&#039;s community solar garden, run by Clean Energy Collective, has the capacity to produce just under 1 megawatt of energy.</p>

The Intermountain Rural Electric Association, Colorado's biggest rural cooperative, says that its paying too much for the extra solar power that it buys from homeowners, reports the Denver Business Journal.

The utility is now proposing to pay 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour for the power, rather than the 12.3 cents they're currently paying.

The Colorado Solar Electric Industry says the proposal unfairly hurts solar power customers. According to their analysis, the utility proposal could raise bills for solar customers by up to 30 percent.

The utility is expecting about 1,000 solar power customers by the end of the year, up more than 300 percent from the end of 2014.