April 10, 2017

Net Metering Bill Moves To Governor's Desk For Final Approval

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
A solar array at Wible Lumber in northeast Indiana. - Nick Janzen/IPB

A solar array at Wible Lumber in northeast Indiana.

Nick Janzen/IPB

A bill overhauling Indiana’s net metering policy is heading to Gov. Eric Holcomb for final approval.

Senate Bill 309 passed the House 56-43 on April 4 after a contentious floor debate where supporters and opponents of the bill both said they have the solar industry’s best interests in mind.

The bill’s author, Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek), says he’s comfortable with the changes made in the House, which the Senate approved 37-11.

“As I’ve said all along, I’m not opposed to solar, it’s just that the current subsidy is too lucrative considering the current state of affairs,” says Hershman.

Currently, more than 1,000 Hoosiers participate in net metering, meaning they receive credits on their utility bill for sending excess energy generated by solar panels or wind turbines back to the grid. Starting in 2022 new net metering customers will receive about 75 percent less for that excess energy.

Kerwin Olson, executive director of Citizens Action Coalition, says SB 309 is bad for Indiana’s economy and he will urge Governor Holcomb to veto the bill.

“Senate Bill 309 brings great harm to that industry and sends a signal to the solar industry across the world that Indiana is not open for business,” Olson says.

For his part, Sen. Hershman says the bill makes significant accommodations to opponents and a veto is not “a serious consideration.”

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