Bill Threatens Net Metering
by Nathaniel Baer on Monday, February 8, 2016
HF2100 update: Good news! The subcommittee for HF2100, a bill that would have put solar energy out of reach for countless Iowans and hurt the state's solar economy and job market, met on Thurs., Feb. 11, and did NOT pass the bill out of subcommittee. Thanks to all who attended the meeting, and to each advocate who took action to help protect solar in Iowa. Your voices were heard!
Solar has been gaining momentum in Iowa in recent years, and much potential remains. One policy that has and continues to help drive solar energy growth and development is net metering.
Currently, Iowa’s rate-regulated utilities, like MidAmerican and Alliant, are required to offer net metering to customers including farmers, businesses and homeowners with solar or other types of distributed renewable energy. Net metering allows customers’ solar generation and electricity use to net out on a monthly basis. If customers use more electricity than they generate, they pay the retail rate for the excess. If customers generate more than they use, they get a bill credit at the retail rate for future use. Net metering is a critical policy for solar projects throughout the state. Without net metering, many solar projects would not be viable.
Legislators are currently considering HF2100, a bill that would gut net metering by allowing utilities to pay solar customers a much lower wholesale price for the excess energy they produce. This would put solar out of reach for countless Iowa farmers, businesses, schools and homeowners, and hurt Iowa’s growing solar economy and job market.
Solar energy benefit’s Iowa’s environment, economy and job market, communities, public health and quality of life. It is also a financial benefit for all ratepayers. According to the Alliance for Solar Choice, “all recent independent, commission-led studies show that net metering policy is a financial benefit for all ratepayers. Rooftop solar puts a downward pressure on everyone’s electricity rates, reducing bills for all ratepayers.”
Iowa ranks 23rd (2014) among U.S. states in the percentage of its electricity produced by solar, but is 16th in the U.S. in technical potential for solar photovoltaic (PV) energy production. Net metering and other complimentary policies that maintain and expand the incentives available for farmers, businesses, residents, utilities and communities to own or invest in solar can help us meet this potential.
The subcommittee for HF2100, which has been referred to the House Commerce Committee, is scheduled to meet on Thurs., Feb. 11. Take action today and help send a strong message to the subcommittee and members of the House Commerce Committee that Iowans support solar.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
- clean energy
- iowa legislature
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