Bill Could Reduce Incentives for Solar Energy

Feb 17, 2015

Some Indiana lawmakers want to change the way solar panel owners are credited for the energy they produce. 

If an individual or business installs solar panels and generates more energy than  they use, the power company buys it to sell to other customers. House Bill 1320 would reduce how much utilities pay for that excess energy, and  charge those who generate it fees for using the power grid. 

Dave Arland with the Indiana Energy Association says it’s just a matter of fairness. 

“Ratepayers who don’t have solar are subsidizing the cost of the very grid that’s being used to sell power back to the power company,” says Arland. 

The proposal also legalizes the leasing of expensive solar panels and wind turbines,  a business the utilities themselves could get in on. 

Brian Flory says the bill would be a step backwards. He’s pastor of Beacon  Heights Church of the Bretheren in Fort Wayne.

His congregation’s plan to install  solar panels this summer may not be financially feasible if the bill passes.    

“This really is a solution in search of a problem," says Flory. "It’s short-sighted in a lot of ways,  it limits choice for consumers.” 

The bill will be heard in the Utilities Committee Wednesday.