MidAmerican says the new fees, which would average about $27 a month, would go to maintaining the electrical grid. Since solar customers use that grid when selling excess power back to the utility, MidAmerican spokesperson Tina Hoffman told the AP that the fees are about "customer fairness . . . Paying for the grid if you use the grid is what this policy is about."
Todd Miller, who owns a solar panel business near Des Moines, said he thinks MidAmerican is more interested in cornering the market on energy production. He noted that a MidAmerican lobbyist said at a legislative hearing that the utility would use the profits from the extra fees to invest in large-scale solar projects. "They’re using that as the stepping stone to take over any and all solar," Miller told the AP. "If energy is being produced, they want to produce it."