At What Price? How to Improve Interconnection Cost Certainty and Predictability

In part 5 of IREC’s interconnection series in GreenTech Media, Erica McConnell, former special counsel and Cathy Malina, environmental law fellow with Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger LLP, attorneys for IREC, examine the best ways to cut the cost of connecting distributed resources to the grid.

All of us value cost certainty and predictability when it comes to big expenses in our personal and professional lives. We want to know how much something is going to cost overall and upfront, and we want to be able to predict how those costs will be allocated over time. When costs unexpectedly run over budget midway through the process, we start to fret.

Say you’ve initiated a home renovation based on a set budget and known financing terms. You’ve hired professionals to conduct due diligence on the project to set expectations, you’ve moved out temporarily, paid your permitting and contracting fees, and you’ve been told you’re on track to complete the project on time and within budget.

Then, halfway through the process, you’re told — in very uncertain terms — you could be on the hook for some potentially major additional costs later on. At this point, there’s no information about when or how much you might have to pay. And you hear the costs could be small, but they could just as easily be significant. The only thing that’s clear: You’ll have to pay all of the additional costs before you can live in your house again.

Hardly any type of customer would accept this kind of uncertainty — such unexpected occurrences are the exception and not the rule.

Read the full article.


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