Oppose HB 1320 Anti-Solar
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2015 Legislative Session
House Bill 1320 - anti-solar bill
Bill Origin: Indiana Energy Association
Authored by: Rep. Eric Koch

HB 1320 would have made rooftop solar cost prohibitive, would have stifled the free market solar economy, killed jobs in this growing industry, monopolized solar, and limited our energy choices.

SPEAKER BOSMA PULLS THE PLUG ON ANTI-SOLAR BILL
2/26/15 - HB 1320 was pulled from the House calendar for 2nd and 3rd reading before the end of the first half of the session.  House Speaker Brian Bosma halted the bill saying it wasn't the right time for the measure. “There were a whole variety of issues that have arisen around it and it just seemed to me to be a little weighty,” Bosma said.  Kerwin Olson, executive director of Citizens Action Coalition, a ratepayer advocacy group against the bill, said the solar coalition will remain watchful for language in the bill that might be inserted into a bill that is moving. Both Bosma and Olson say they think a General Assembly study committee on the topic is unnecessary.  Read this Indy Star, Tim Evans article: Solar bill appears to be in trouble, 2/24/15

BILL CLEARS HOUSE COMMITTEE HEARING
2/19/15 - Despite overwhelming opposition, the anti-solar bill, HB 1320, passed out of the House Utilities committee last Wednesday with a 9-4 vote along party lines.  See votes below.  Click here to listen to the hearing.  Click here to view the archived video of the hearing.

Rep. Koch submitted a 15-page amendment just 2 hours before the Feb. 18th hearing making it difficult for committee members and those testifying to fully digest. However, the core provisions of the bill adversely affecting rooftop solar remain unchanged.

Over 100 citizens turned out to oppose HB 1320.

Speakers in "opposition" to the bill included Brad Morton, owner Morton Solar, Inc; Jesse Kharbanda executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council; Sue Maki, City of Carmel; Kerwin Olson, executive director Citizens Action Coalition; Denise Abdul- Rahman, Indiana NAACP; Rev. Wyatt Watkins, Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light, East-Side Creation Care Network; Pastor Brian Flory, Beacon Heights Church; and Les Zimmerman farmer Vermillion county.  An additional 28 citizens who signed up to testify against the bill were denied a chance to speak by Acting Chair Van Natter.  Public trust in the integrity of our democratic processes and institution are called into question.

Of the 4 speakers who were "neutral," three asked the committee to table the bill for further study.  The other allegedly neutral speaker was Professor Michael Hicks of Ball State University who had just that morning released a study on net metering. The study was commissioned by the Indiana Energy Association(IEA), the lobby group for the investor-owned electric utilities behind this bill.

There was only one supporter of the bill, Mark Maassel, president of the Indiana Energy Association (IEA) testified in support of the bill.  The other supporter, a representative for INDIAC took no position on the rooftop solar/net metering provisions of the bill, and only spoke in favor of new provisions in the amendment which would help manufacturing.

In all, 39 witnesses urged the committee to reject or table the bill for further study of its impact on the solar industry in Indiana.  Only one witness, the Utility monopoly lobby, supported the bill. Given this testimony, it is remarkably ironic that conservative Republicans voted for a bill that favors big government monopoly over individual freedom, free market and jobs.

This article does a great job of explaining why the Utilities are fighting energy efficiency and rooftop solar, and why we need to hold our legislators and regulators accountable. The weak energy efficiency bill, SB 412, passed out of the Senate.

WHAT'S NEXT?
HB 1320 is technically dead for the session.  However language from the bill could be inserted into another bill that is moving. We will remain on the lookout for such an underhanded tactic.  Stay tuned!!!

TAKE ACTION NOW!
1) Please take a minute to thank House Speaker Brian Bosma for tabling the bill and his leadership to protect Indiana's net metering policy.

2) Thank Representatives Hale, Pierce, Pryor and Forestal for their NO vote on HB 1320 at the House Utilities committee hearing.  Their emails are shown below.

3) Very important - It's still not too late to let your state representative know how you feel about this bill.  HB 1320 would squash Indiana's growing free market solar industry, monopolize rooftop solar, and restrict our energy choices. Let them know why this is important to you and be sure to include your name and address.  Click here for additional information about the bill.  Click here to find your state representative.


House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications
February 18, 2015 Committee Hearing

Dist/Party Name Statehouse email Vote
65-R Koch , Eric 317-232-9674 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
38-R VanNatter , Heath 317-232-9647 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
91-R Behning , Robert 317-232-9643 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
5-R DeVon , Dale 317-232-9678 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
93-R Frizzell , David 317-232-9981 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
67-R Frye , Randall 317-234-9380 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
42-R Morrison , Alan 317-234-2993 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
4-R Soliday , Edmond 317-232-9603 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
90-R Speedy , Mike 317-232-9833 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
87-D Hale , Christina 317-232-9987 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it No
100-D Forestal , Dan 317-232-9987 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it No
61-D Pierce , Matt 317-232-9794 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it No
94-D Pryor , Cherrish 317-232-9794 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it No

 

KEY FACTS ABOUT HB 1320

HB 1320 would squash Indiana's free market solar industry, monopolize rooftop solar, and restrict our energy choices.

  • HB 1320 is designed to kill the free market solar industry by making rooftop solar ownership cost prohibitive.
  • The Utilities want to kill free market competition and grab the solar market for its own electric monopoly.
  • 44 states have Net Metering polices to ensure solar owners are compensated fairly for the power and benefits they provide to the grid. This bill would kill net metering and set Indiana back compared to the rest of the country.
  • This bill would drive a growing number of solar businesses out of Indiana, kill jobs, and result in higher solar prices for Hoosiers.
  • This bill kills energy choice, energy freedom and energy independence for in Indiana.
  • Electric utilities are seeking to pay below market rates for rooftop solar power, add additional charges, and change the interconnection rules, but they have not shown any evidence to justify this.  It's not fair to pass legislation that is so disruptive to a growing free market industry with no evidence that it's needed or justified.
  • The IURC needs to conduct an independent and impartial study of the costs and benefits of rooftop solar to determine its true value. The study should also quantify the real fixed costs for generation, transmission and distribution.  According to an Arizona study, the true market value meets or exceeds the retail rate from benefits that come from avoiding "expensive and polluting conventional power and power plants; reduced investments in transmission and distribution infrastructure; reduced electricity lost during transportation over power lines ... and savings on the cost of meeting renewable energy requirements."