Chesterton Tribune

IURC opens new opportunities for Hoosiers to generate their own power

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The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) recently created new opportunities for Hoosiers wishing to generate their own power by dramatically expanding Indiana’s net metering rule.

After seeking public input around the state on the existing net metering rule, the IURC initiated a formal rulemaking and drafted a new rule that makes it easier for consumers to take advantage of the service offering.

This initiative stemmed from proposed legislation during the 2010 legislative session.

Net metering is a service offering that allows participants to supplement their electric usage and mitigate a portion of their cost by installing renewable energy facilities, such as wind turbines or solar panels. If the amount the customer received from the utility is less than the amount delivered to the utility, the customer receives a credit on the next bill for the difference. The net metering rule applies to all jurisdictional investor-owned electric utilities.

“By holding public meetings, the IURC heard concerns about the existing rule,” said Commissioner Carolene Mays, the presiding officer over the rulemaking. “It was clear the rule could be improved so that more Hoosiers could participate and take advantage of its benefits.”

Significant changes stemming from the rulemaking include:

•A 9,900-percent increase in the maximum size of an eligible facility from 10 kilowatts to 1 megawatt.

•Expanded eligibility to all customer classes (industrial, commercial, and residential) from just K-12 schools and residential customers.

•A 900-percent increase in the aggregate sales level under each utility’s net metering tariff from 0.1 percent to 1 percent of annual kilowatt hour sales.

“The new net metering rule will stimulate growth within the renewable industry and make it a more attractive option for those who wish to use renewable energy in their own backyards,” Mays said.


Posted 7/21/2011