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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Attack on Solar

The U.S. solar energy sector has officially surpassed the number of jobs in the oil and gas drilling sector. Although Indiana showed signs of supporting this thriving industry by enabling net metering in 2011, it’s now vulnerable to taking a major step backward.

SB 309 is a bill that forbids all investor-owned utilities from offering new net metering for systems installed after 2022. Net metering allows customers reimbursements for power they feed back to the grid. This helps advance societal goals of environmental stewardship, reduces distribution and transmission costs, and improves electrical grid stability.

“It almost seems like the aim of the Indiana Energy Association and Investor Owned Utilities is to essentially own the sun,” says Phil Teague, co-founder of Rectify Solar, LLC. “In a true free-market economy, government wouldn’t be allowed to overreach and kill a clean, economically viable energy source.”

Indiana’s powerful utility lobby attempted to eliminate net metering in 2015, but the bill was stopped due to the outpouring of opposition, so ask state representatives to vote “No” on SB 309 and “Yes” on SB 500, which removes the ability of homeowner associations to restrict or ban solar energy. Also, urge the House Utilities Committee Chairman to not hold a vote on SB 309, but rather call on the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to do a data-driven study—which at least 10 conservative-leaning states have done—that allows our state to carefully develop sound public policy related to solar energy.

Find your legislator by visiting IGA.IN.Gov/Legislative/Find-Legislators/. For more information on this and other important bills, visit HECWeb.org/Bill-Watch-2017/.

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