A Residential & Commercial Rooftop Installation Company Solar Repair & Maintenance

On January 10th 2018, the Public Utilities Commision of Ohio held a public hearing to discuss the changes in the net metering policies in Ohio.

To understand the issue at hand, let's walk you through the concept of net metering. According to the SEIA: “Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid”. This means that each solar energy system is credited for the excess energy produced.

Previously on November 8th, 2017 the PUCO voted to:

  • Allow systems to produce up to 20% more than customer’s electric use which helps if the customer’s use fluctuates after they install the system.
  • Allow systems to be installed on neighboring property.
  • Requires utilities to credit customers the “energy” portion of the overall rate, not capacity. Therefore, customers would only be paid back at an 85% ratio.

The hearing held on January 10th was to hear from the affected parties, including utility companies. We took the initiative of sending a solar consultant to the hearing in Columbus to take notes and represent our solar customers. The commission had invited several statewide groups to voice their opinions and concerns but did not allow any public input. The main topics of discussion were:

  • Safety issues regarding allowing customers to own systems that can generate more electricity than they use.
  • Contiguity of property issues pertaining largely to wind turbines.
  • Potential changes to how much a consumer generator can get back in credit from net metering.

Here is a brief breakdown of each participant utility company’s stance on the issue:

For

Against

Dayton Power and Lighting

One Energy

First Energy

Environmental Advocates

American Electric Providers

Ohio’s Consumer Council

 

IGS


YellowLite's Take on the Policy Change:

The decision to allow utility companies to not credit homeowners for the excess energy they produce will have a discouraging effect on the larger solar community in Ohio. It is already difficult for homeowners in the state to go solar as there are no state driven incentives and the federal tax credits will be expiring at the end of 2019. We need to work towards encouraging homeowners to use renewable energy. Giving them credit for the energy they feed into the grid is vital to ensure this.

This decision will make it difficult for the homeowners to move towards renewable energy sources and in turn, Ohio will suffer environmentally. We recommend a rehearing on the recent changes in net-metering and have the utilities credit customer-generators fairly and fully at 100% credit.

We’re keeping an eye on the matter and will update you of all the latest advancements in these policy changes.

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