Major Deadline for Hoosiers
Indiana law will change mid-2022, greatly reducing net-metering benefits for small rooftop solar arrays. If you ever considered solar panels in Indiana, NOW is the best time to act before the Statehouse gift to the electric utilities takes effect. Per the law, new installations must be designed, permitted, installed, operating, and approved by July 1, 2022.
However, I&M Power quietly changed its website, now suggesting Hoosiers must instead have an Interconnect Service Application received and confirmed by I&M Power by July 1 in order to receive ten years of net metering. On your application, be sure your i's are dotted and your t's are crossed.
Solar United Neighbors-Indiana (SUN-IN) is leading a co-op whereby homeowners can get a group discount and solid advice on going solar in Indiana before the counterproductive state law takes effect. Sign up soon while the co-op is still receiving members. Why the rush? Your installation must be approved by the utility before July 2022 or you will be reimbursed for any excess energy you send into the public grid at a reduced rate to be decided by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. It will certainly be vastly less than the pre-July net metering rate.
Those who install by July will get a net metering return, grandfathered in for ten years. For example, if you currently buy electricity at 11 cents per kilowatt-hour (kW-hr) from the utility, with net metering they buy your clean excess energy for 11 cents per kW-hr. Starting July 1, you'll still pay 11 cents to buy from them, but they'll buy your excess energy at 3+ cents, then sell that to your neighbor for 11 cents. Meanwhile, the utilities are still pushing for "instantaneous netting" and other schemes to further limit what individual homeowners can receive.
After mid-July, you certainly can still choose to install solar panels, but your financial return is reduced and payoff period extended. Statehouse legislators with serious conflicts of interest dismissed the value of renewable energy generated by independent homeowners. Rooftop arrays serve citizens with multiple upsides, and their extra output during peak demand on sunny days lessens the need to finance and construct backup generation plants that cause harm in the first place.
It seems the State of Indiana welcomes solar--but only the utilities and large solar companies are allowed to monetize it. The small rooftop solar array owner has little incentive to build extra capacity even when they have the space and ability. While other states seek to expand renewable energy, Indiana legislators and utilities have chosen to dissuade citizens from doing the right thing. In putting up barriers to solar energy, and in minimally compensating homeowners for renewable energy they provide to the state grid, legislators have effectively reduced the benefits of rooftop solar energy.
Solar energy systems: 🌞 generate renewable energy, 🌞 reduce utility bills, 🌞 increase home values,
🌞 improve air quality,
🌞 facilitate energy independence,
🌞 show community leadership,
🌞 are critical home infrastructure of the future,
🌞 benefit all homeowners.
While Indiana has a state flower, state bird, state insect, state tree, etc., the SB309 legislation ending net metering has become a prominent State Embarrassment. Energy independence begins at home.