Despite widespread and vocal opposition, Governor Holcomb has signed into law the utility-backed bill that will end net metering for Indiana solar customers.
Net metering, the agreement that allows residential solar owners to swap excess energy produced during the day for an equivalent amount of energy when the sun is not shining, has been shown to be a net benefit to utilities — and non-solar customers — in several other states. By producing excess energy at a time of day when demand is greatest, solar owners help forestall the need for additional power plants, saving utilities and ratepayers enormous amounts of money. Additionally, power produced and used on site or at a neighbor’s house loses nothing in transmission and costs nothing to deliver.
Nonetheless, the bill passed and will now become law. What does that mean for solar customers and those wishing to install solar?
First, those who already have solar installed, or do so by the end of 2017, will be grandfathered in: net metering will continue for them for thirty years, until 2047.
Those who install solar from 2018 through 2022 will have net metering until 2032.
And those who install solar after 2022 will not be eligible for net metering at all.
REMC customers are not directly affected by SB 309, because REMCs do not offer net metering arrangements at all.
But if you are in the Duke Energy service territory, now is the best time to go solar. If you cannot manage it in 2017, then do so as soon as possible after that. Stay tuned for solarize opportunities near you!