- The Indiana House Committee on Utilities, Energy and Telecommunication voted 8-5 last week to pass a measure that would dramatically reduce the rate solar customers are paid for their excess energy.
- The measure would reduce the rate paid to net metering customers from the retail rate to the utility's marginal cost, plus 25%.
- The proposal, Senate Bill 309, has already passed the upper chamber, where provisions stipulating that net metering customers would need to sell all the energy they produce and buy all of their demand at a higher rate were eliminated.
Indiana legislators continue to tweak a measure designed to alter the state's net metering scheme, gradually eliminating provisions solar advocates say would have destroyed the rooftop solar industry.
The measure, which now heads to the full House for consideration, grandfathers systems in until 2047.
The latest version of the bill provides for solar customers to be paid the "average marginal price of electricity paid by the electricity supplier during the most recent calendar year; multiplied by 1.25." The utility will compensate customers for excess distributed generation through a credit on the their monthly bill.
Indiana lawmakers previously tried to roll back net metering. A 2015 bill aimed to lower the payback for net metered solar and allow utilities in the state to add new bill charges. But that bill was pulled before it could reach a vote.
The state's solar industry is still nascent, with one major utility, Indianapolis Power & Light, counting only about 100 customers. None of the state's utilities are close to reaching their 1.5% net metering cap.
Advocates and the solar industry worry new restrictions could kill the growth before it really gets started, but utilities say the current system unfairly burdens non-rooftop solar customers with extra costs.