UPDATE: the bill has been amended. If you install solar by July 1, 2017, you may be grandfathered in to net metering for 30 years. If you install between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2022, you’re grandfathered only until 2032. If you are a solar customer after July 1, 2022, you are ineligible for net metering.
Senate Bill 309 moved through the Senate Utilties Committee on Thursday, February 16th. Why is this important, and what could it mean, if made into law, for solar panel users?
The bill would eliminate net metering. This concept is the give and take of energy produced by solar panels and that used from the grid by a consumer. When excess energy is produced currently by a solar panel user, they are compensated for that excess energy by a utility company at retail rates. When the consumer uses energy from the grid, they pay retail rates for that energy. This is known as net metering.
Here is the bill: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2017/bills/senate/309#digest-heading
Essentially, while solar panel energy users now receive compensation at a retail rate for their excess energy, the elimination of net metering means that their energy will go straight to the grid now, and they will be compensated at a wholesale rate instead of the former retail rate. In turn, they will purchase energy from the grid at a retail rate. Said energy was produced by their own solar panels in the first place; they will receive wholesale rate compensation for it, then will turn around and pay full retail rates to consume grid energy.
Opponents Senate Bill 309 feel that it may be a deterrent to using renewable energy and producing it in the state of Indiana. Without the incentive of net metering, it is feared that neither regular folks nor those seeking investment opportunities with solar in Indiana will find much appeal here.
The bill now moves to the full Senate. For more information, call the Indiana State Senate. To voice an opinion, call your state representative.