Events
Vote NO on SB309 Anti-Solar Bill
2017 Legislative Session
SB 309 - Distributed Generation - anti-solar bill
Bill Origin: SB 309 was written by the Utility Lobby, the Indiana Energy Association
Author: SB 309 is being carried by Sen. Brandt Hershman (R)
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Protect solar rights and rooftop solar businesses and jobs in Indiana

Generating your own solar power is key to building a more sustainable community for a variety of reasons including energy freedom, energy choice, energy independence and being self-sufficient.

Homeowners, businesses, schools, congregations, and municipalities have the right to harvest the sunshine on their own property and get fair credit for excess energy contributed to the grid. That's what Net Metering does and 43 states have it, including Indiana. However, the Indiana Utility lobby (IEA) is pushing hard to kill Net Metering in Indiana.

As amended in the House and Senate, SB309 (1) ends net metering in 2022, (2) sets an arbitrary rate of 1.25 x wholesale and (3) allows utilities to impose fees and charges on solar customers. As you can see, Kentucky and Illinois have recently taken a pause on these provisions. Indiana would be wise to do the same thing.

  • Kentucky recently pulled its anti-solar bill -  "...Facing a hearing room packed with solar power supporters, Senate Energy Chairman Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, pulled his SB 214 ... He said he worked ... to reach a compromise that would satisfy solar power advocates, who prefer the current arrangement for selling their surplus power to utilities, and the utility industry, which says it needs more money from solar customers to maintain the power grid.  Finally, it just seemed wisest to postpone any action for now, he said."  Kentucky Senate Bill 214 has some similarities to SB309 in that it opens the door to fees and charges for solar customers which are currently prohibited by Indiana's current net metering rule.
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  • Illinois Energy Bill passes Without Anti-Solar and Anti-Consumer Provisions -  "...The removal of demand charges and reinstatement of net metering in SB 2814 happened in the wake of a backlash from the public and consumer advocates, including Governor Rauners office, calling demand rates insane rates..."  SB309 includes provisions end net metering and allow utilities to add fees and charges to solar customer - these provisions were withdrawn in Illinois."

 

SB309 will discourage Hoosiers from investing in solar, kill Indiana's emerging free market solar sector and the jobs that go with it.

  • Small business owner Bob McKinney from Johnson-Melloh, a solar business in Indianapolis testified this bill will have "...dramatic affects on jobs in Indiana and the people that invested in these systems."  He asked that instead of arbitrarily setting the rate at wholesale plus 25% through legislation, consider allowing time to gather the proper information and data on the costs and benefits of solar on net metering at the IURC.
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  • According to the Brookings Institute "... the local utility in Nevada successfully wielded the cost-shift theory last winter to... drastically curtail the state’s net-metering payments, prompting Solar City, Sunrun, and Vivint Solar—the state’s three largest providers of rooftop panels—to leave the Nevada market entirely... New residential solar installation permits plunged 92 percent..."
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  • Indiana is proof of country's solar boom "...The Solar Foundation produced 50 state-level fact sheets and released an analysis of the economic impact of the solar labor market nationwide.... “The solar industry is generating well-paying jobs everywhere from Detroit to Miami to Salt Lake City, and in states from Ohio to Texas to South Carolina,” Andrea Luecke, president and executive director of The Solar Foundation, said. “America’s solar energy boom adds tens of billions of dollars to our economy each year, all while providing an affordable, reliable, and local energy source.”  Indiana has 63 solar companies, a surprising number considering that in Indiana solar workers comprise only 1 percent of the 260,077 total solar jobs across the county. Indiana ranks 28th in the number of solar jobs available, 30th for solar jobs per capita, 21st for installed solar capacity and 37th for average electricity prices ranked highest to lowest.... Offering the most solar jobs in Indiana in 2016 was Allen County at 299. Following were 332 in Marion County, 236 in St. Joseph County, 156 in Lake County and 145 in Hamilton County. Indiana produced 1,133 new solar jobs in 2016, 72 percent solar job growth and employed veterans into 6 percent of its workforce..."

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SB309 Sets Arbitrary Rate below True Market Value

Senate Bill 309 would take away the rights of homes, businesses, congregations and municipalities to get the full fair credit for energy contributed to the grid. In his remarks, Senator Hershman said he arbitrarily set the rate at 1.25 x wholesale to recognize solar is cleaner than coal. But solar has many other benefits, and 1.25 x wholesale is significantly below its true market value. Studies in other states have shown the market value of rooftop solar is 3 to 4 times the wholesale rate - in some cases more than retail.

Setting rates without data is not prudent and results in an artificial rate created by policy. If the compensation rate is set too low, it will encourage people to go to solar plus batteries.  Ratemaking is complex and should be done at the IURC by experts based on data.

SB309 Creates a Subsidy for the Utilities

This anti-solar bill effectively shifts the economic benefits of free solar energy away from the free market and gives it exclusively to the monopoly utilities.

An analysis from the Columbus Community Solar Initiative shows the proposed arbitrary rate of 1.25 x wholesale actually creates a subsidy for the utilities.

SB309 Allows for additional fees and charges, even for grandfathered customers

SB309 was amended to allow Utilities to impose additional fees and charges which would make rooftop solar unaffordable for most homeowners, businesses, congregations, schools and municipalities.  SB309 was also amended to grandfather existing solar customers until 2047, and grandfather customers who install their solar systems before 2022 until 2032 (see below).  However, according to a legal analysis by Citizen's Action Coalition, future and even grandfathered solar customers would be subject to additional fees and charges.  This has been a big problem in many states.

SB309 Incentivizes customers to go off the grid

The cost of solar panels continue to drop making this renewable energy technology an economic opportunity similar to innovations such as cell phones and personal computers which have transformed the world.  Net Metering protects the free market for Indiana to take full advantage of this economic opportunity and remain competitive with other states.  Instead, as the price of solar and battery storage decrease, this bill would encourage solar customers to defect from the grid instead of remaining connected to the grid where they can provide benefits, including low cost electricity during summer peak periods, upgrade deferrals and congestion relief.

Solar panels and battery storage are moving quickly, and because of this we should step back from making premature and arbitrary changes to net metering at this time, especially when there is no data to show a subsidy even exists and no data to support the proposed 1.25 x wholesale rate.   We urge the legislature to proceed with caution as SB309 will stifle the solar industry in Indiana.  But, in the long run as free market technologies continue to drive investment, the undervalued arbitrary rate and added fees and charges for solar customers will actually encourage those consumers who can afford it to cut the cord and go off the grid.

The Subsidy Issue

The fundamental justification for this bill is based on a false claim by the electric utility lobby that net metering results in a subsidy, but they have never shown any evidence, nor have they quantified what the impact to non-solar ratepayers is, except to say it's less than penny.

  • In his testimony opposing SB309, Barry Goldwater Jr offered a conservative perspective saying that the utilities have done a great job of labeling net metering a subsidy, but argued that net metering is NOT a subsidy, and the true value of solar should be studied at the IURC. Goldwater said rooftop solar is an innovation and technology in its infancy that we should be supporting.    

  • Editorial from the Journal Gazette - "...Barry Goldwater Jr. framed the bill as a case of utility companies trying to stand in the way of history. “They fear competition,” he told the committee. “They see the writing on the wall. There is an energy revolution going on.”...As at a previous hearing in a Senate committee, speaker after speaker implored lawmakers to ask the experts at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to study the complex and far-reaching questions SB 309 so arbitrarily and hastily tries to answer."

The fact that the utilities are seeking to end Net Metering through the General Assembly, instead of going to the IURC where they would be required to show evidence to support their claim, suggests that they do not have the evidence.  To the contrary, studies in other states have shown there is no subsidy and that distributed solar actually provides a net benefit to the utility.

  • Rooftop solar: Net metering is a net benefit, Brookings Institute -  "...utility interests have sought to...roll back net-metering provisions, arguing they are a net cost to the overall electricity system... [But] regulators in at least 10 states had conducted studies to develop methodologies to value distributed generation and net metering, while other states conducted less formal inquiries, ranging from direct rate design or net-metering policy changes to general education of decision makers and the public. And there is a degree of consensus...A growing number show that net metering benefits all utility customers."

 

Fixed Charges

Solar customers have testified that not only did they invest their own money to generate their own electricity to offset their own load, they also pay on their electric bill the same fixed fees to support the grid like everyone else.

Pros and Cons of Net Metering Should be Analyzed at the IURC

This bill is fundamentally about who owns the economic benefits of free energy from the sun.  We believe it's in the state's best interest to have the pros and cons of Net Metering in Indiana properly evaluated by experts at the IURC as other states have done.  Rates should NOT be arbitrarily set by legislators.

Why would conservative legislators support a bill that protects monopolies and violates free market principles?

The utility lobby claims that solar customers do not pay their fair share to support the grid and are subsidized by non-solar customer, but have NEVER shown any evidence to support this claim. Why aren't legislators asking for this evidence?

To resolve these complex regulatory issues, the pros and cons of Net Metering should be studied and analyzed by the experts at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission - as other states have done.  If the utilities have evidence to prove their claim, the IURC may revise or repeal the existing net metering rule accordingly.

Help defend your solar rights to keep net metering for fair credit.

Help protect your solar rights, and rooftop solar businesses and jobs in Indiana

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ANTI-SOLAR BILL MOVES TO GOVERNOR'S DESK
4/11/17 -  SB 309 passed out of the Senate with a 37-11 vote.   Next, the bill moves on to the governor's desk, so please reach out right away.

URGENT:  Please ask the governor to veto SB309 to protect solar rights, businesses and jobs, and instead direct the IURC to study the pros and cons of Net Metering.

Gov. Eric Holcomb
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(317) 232-4567

John Hammond, Energy Policy
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SB309 will discourage Hoosiers from investing in solar, kill Indiana's emerging free market solar sector and the jobs that go with it.  This bill opposes two pillars of the governor’s agenda to 1) cultivate a strong and diverse economy by growing Indiana as a magnet for jobs, and 2) develop a 21st century skilled and ready workforce.  Why would conservative leaders support a bill that protects monopolies and violates free market principles?  This issue is best dealt with by experts at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission as other states have done.

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ANTI-SOLAR BILL RUSHED TO FULL SENATE VOTE
4/6/17 -  SB 309 was rushed to a Senate vote after Senator Hershman, the bill's author, concurred with minor amendments made in the House.

Please contact as soon as possible, and urge him/her to vote NO on SB309 to protect solar rights, businesses and jobs, and direct the IURC to study the costs and benefits of Net Metering.

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ANTI-SOLAR BILL PASSED THE HOUSE, GOES BACK TO SENATE
4/4/17 - SB309 cleared the House with a vote of 56-43.  All the Ds and 13 Rs voted NO, but it wasn't enough to stop the bill. We needed just 8 more Rs to stand up for solar rights, businesses and jobs.  The good news is that both Carmel representatives This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it voted against this bill.  Please be sure to thank them!!!  Unfortunately, other Hamilton County represented voted for SB309 which ends net metering and will stifle rooftop solar business and jobs.  The bill goes back to the Senate for a vote.

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2ND READING AMENDMENTS NOT ALLOWED
4/3/17 -  2nd reading amendments on SB309 were not allowed today, which I find very confusing, especially since there were so many.  Why would legislators be prevented from introducing amendments to improve the bill?  Does the utility lobby have that strong a hold on the statehouse?
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ANTI-SOLAR BILL CLEARS HOUSE COMMITTEE
3/29/17 -  SB 309 passed out of the House Utilities, Energy & Telecommunications Committee by a vote of 8-5.  (see video archive).

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ANTI-SOLAR BILL AMENDED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
3/22/17 -  SB 309 was heard for over 6 hours on March 22nd by the House Utilities, Energy & Telecommunications Committee in the House Chambers (see video archive).  Like the Senate hearing last month, there was a huge turnout against SB309 to protect solar rights, including Barry Goldwater, Jr.  Many more people opposed the bill than supported it.
The bill was amended  in committee to:
  • Extend the grandfathering deadline for installing solar power from July 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017.  Customers with solar systems installed before the deadline would be grandfathered until 2047.
  • Allow the grandfathering process and the associated Net Metering agreement to be transferred to the property in the case of sale of the solar property.
  • Have public school corporations considered for interim summer study.

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BILL PASSES OUT OF SENATE AND SENATE UTILITIES COMMITEE
2/27/17 -  SB 309 passed out of the Senate Utilities Committee with an 8-2 vote and cleared the Senate with a 39-9 vote.

Despite receiving lots of calls, emails and testimony from angry constituents opposing SB309, almost every Republican senator voted for this bill.  Senator John Ruckelshaus was the only Hamilton County Republican to vote against the bill.  Unfortunately, Hamilton County Senators Delph, Kenley, Merritt and Buck all voted for SB309.  Why would conservative legislators support a bill that protects monopolies, violates free market principles and would kill the Indiana solar industry?

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ANTI-SOLAR BILL AMENDED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
2/9/17 -  SB309, was heard in Senate Utilities Committee in over 4 hours of testimony (see video archive).  There was a large turnout to protect solar rights.  Many more people spoke against the bill than supported it.  The most salient point made by the opposition is that the Utilities have never ever provided any data to support their claim that net metering is a subsidy.  Over and over again opponents testified that they are in fact paying all the same fees everyone else pays to support the grid.  Over and over again experts testified that studies done in other states have shown that excess solar energy provides a net benefit to the grid that is actually worth more than the net metering retail rate -- solar is NOT a subsidy.  The bill was amended to get rid of the outrageous Buy All-Sell All provision, but it still eliminates Net Metering.

The bill was amended to:

  • Remove the Buy All - Sell All provision
  • End Net Metering in 2022, instead of 2027 in the original bill.
  • Sets compensation for excess solar energy at 1.25 times wholesale rates, about 30% of retail. This delays the return on investment for rooftop solar, from about 10 years at retail rate, to 20-25 years, and will discourage most homeowners, businesses, schools, churches and governments from investing in solar.  The original bill was set for 1 times wholesale.
  • Grandfather existing solar customers, however it is not transferrable in case of death or sale of property.  Customers with solar systems before July 2017 would be grandfathered until 2047.  Customers with systems installed after July 2017 and before July 2022 would be grandfathered until 2032.  No Net Metering after 2022.   The original bill did not grandfather any customers.
  • Sets a limit to the number customers who can install rooftop solar to 1.5% of peak summer load, and sets aside 15% for agriculture and 40% for residential.  The current Net Metering rule has a 1% target with no set asides. But as you can see, we are nowhere close to the 1% tarfet, and it's highly unlikely we would reach the 1.5% limit by 2022 when NM ends.  They could have set the limit to 20% and it wouldn't have made a difference.   The original bill did not set a limit.

Utility                               Installed as of 2016          Current NM Target
Indiana Michigan Power............0.02 %...........................1.00 %
IPL.............................................0.06 %...........................1.00 % 
NIPSCO.....................................0.08 %...........................1.00 % 
Duke Energy..............................0.10 %...........................1.00 % 
Vectren.......................................0.11 %...........................1.00 %

 


ANTI-SOLAR BILL INTRODUCED

2/2/17 -  The utility lobby has introduced a bill to kill the rooftop solar industry in Indiana again this session.  SB309 would permenantly ban Net Metering and replace it with Buy All-Sell All This bill tramples on Energy Freedom, infringes on your private property rights, and violates fundamental free market principles. They want to kill the competition by doing away with the net metering rule.  Without a fair net metering rule, solar is less affordable.  Attacks on solar are happening all over the country. Click here to see the IEA's unsuccessful attack on rooftop solar in 2015. SB 309 is much more extreme, please see Key Facts below.

 

WHAT'S NEXT?
SB 309 is scheduled for a full House vote as early as April 3rd.   Please urge your your State Representative to vote NO on SB309 to protect your solar rights.

 

TAKE ACTION NOW!
1) Please take a minute to urge your state representative to vote NO on SB 309 to protect your solar rights.

2) Click here to find your State Representative

3) You can also click here and scroll down to see listing of Hamilton County State Representatives and Senators

4) SB 309 violates free market principles and tramples on Energy Freedom and Choice. SB309 would make solar power prohibitively expensive for Hoosiers, and squash Indiana's growing free market solar industry.   Let them know why this is important to you and be sure to include your name and address. Click here for additional information.

 

KEY FACTS ABOUT SB309 AS AMENDED

  1. SB 309 was amended to ban Net Metering in 2022, instead of 2027 in the original bill.  Net Metering makes investment in solar technology affordable for Hoosiers.  Solar systems installed after July 1, 2022 would be prohibited from Net Metering. They would not be allowed to received retail-price credit for excess solar energy contributed to the grid, and would instead receive only 1.25 times the wholesale rate.  This delays the return on investment from about 10 years to about 20-25 years, making it very difficult for the average homeowner, business, school, church or government to invest in solar technology.   

    The bill was also amended in the Senate Utilities Committee to grandfather solar systems installed prior to July 1, 1017. These existing solar customers would receive retail credit for excess solar energy until 2047.  In addition, systems installed between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2022 would be allowed to Net Meter until 2032.
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    The House Utilities Committee further amended the bill to extend the grandfathering deadline for installing solar power from July 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017.  Customers with solar systems installed before the deadline would be grandfathered until 2047.  The House committee also amended the bill to allow the grandfathering process and the associated Net Metering agreement to be transferred to the property in the case of sale of the solar property.
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  2. .The bill mandates Buy-All, Sell-All which prohibits solar owners from using any of their own solar power, requiring them instead to "Buy-All" the electricity they use from their Utility and  "Sell-All" by delivering 100% of their solar power to the grid.  Solar owners would be prohibited from receiving the benefit of their own private investment in solar technology on their own private property. No other state has mandatory Buy All-Sell All. The Buy All-Sell All provision was removed in the amended bill.
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  3. The bill goes on to dictate what utilities would pay for your solar power.  In a move that goes around IURC's rate-making authority and process, this bill mandates the IURC to fix the compensation rate at the Utility's avoided costs/wholesale rate, far below fair market value that grossly undervalues the benefits local generation provides to the grid. Read this report on the value of solar.   But wait, the utilities wrote the bill, so really the utilities are dictating to themselves, that by law they'll only pay you wholesale for your solar. The amended bill increased the compensation rate to 1.25 times Utility's average marginal price/wholesale rate, roughly 4 cents per KWhr.
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  4. SB 309 profoundly violates free market principles. It enshrines into law that Utilities are authorized to profit from your private solar investment by paying you wholesale rates, about 2-4 cents, and turning around and selling to your neighbor at full retail rates, about 11-16 cents per kilowatt-hour.  It's like telling farmers, they can grow corn, but they have to sell it all at pre-fixed, below market rates, and must buy any corn they use at full retail rate, while the utility sells your corn to your neighbor at full retail price.  SB309 authorizes the Utility in effect to confiscate your private property, profit from your private investment in solar without fair compensation. Taking a broader view, mandatory Buy All - Sell All and price the fixing below fair market value might violate the 5th amendment of the US Constitution: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
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  5. So what's in Indiana's best interest? Indiana needs to diversify its energy portfolio which includes supporting clean energy and clean energy jobs!  But, SB309 would make home-grown clean energy unaffordable and kill Indiana's emerging rooftop solar sector and jobs.  In a recent IBJ article, "Employment in the U.S. solar business last year grew 12 times faster than overall job creation... Indiana is home to more than 72 solar companies employing 1,567 people who design, engineer, install and repair solar panels."  But SB309 would eviscerate these jobs along with expected growth in the solar sector. Case in point, new residential solar installations plunged 92% in Nevada after drastically curtailing its net-metering policy, prompting Solar City, Sunrun, and Vivint Solar—the state’s three largest providers of rooftop panels—to leave the Nevada market entirely. Indiana lawmakers might as well hang a banner on the statehouse saying "Solar Jobs Not Wanted in Indiana."
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  6. Why are Utilities lobbying for changes that would kill rooftop solar in Indiana when there's no problem to fix. Let's get real! The current Net Metering Rule already protects Utilities by limiting the number of customer-owned generation to a measly target of 1% of Summer Peak Load. Other states have higher targets.  According to the IBJ article, Indiana utilities are nowhere close to their target.

    Utility Installed... Target
    Indiana Michigan Power............
    IPL.............................................
    NIPSCO.....................................
    Duke Energy..............................
    Vectren .......................................
    0.02 %
    0.06 %
    0.08 %
    0.10 %
    0.11 %
    1.00 %
    1.00 %
    1.00 %
    1.00 %
    1.00 %
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  7. Net Metering should be handled at the IURC, NOT the Statehouse. While it's true that the increase in solar raises tricky issues for Utilities, why rush disruptive changes through the statehouse?  The IURC is the state body that has the expertise, resources and time to examine complicated ratemaking issues (like net metering and distributed generation), and it's their job to do so on behalf of the public interest.  The IURC process for setting utility rates requires the utility to file a case and provide evidence which can be reviewed and refuted if necessary by stakeholders and intervening parties in a public hearing.  This process, which places the burden of proof on the Utility, was created in exchange for granting monopoly service territories to Utilities in order to protect the public against monopoly abuse.  But, SB 309 undermines the IURC's authority and undercuts the entire regulatory process which exists to protect Hoosiers.  There is no burden of proof at the statehouse, and it's not the right place for setting policy for regulated Utilities.
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  8. Rooftop Solar Provides More Benefits than Costs to the Grid Indiana utilities have claimed that net metering amounts to a subsidy and results in a cost shift to non-solar ratepayers.  However, they have never shown any evidence or data to support this claim.  In fact, states that have analyzed the costs and benefits of solar have found the opposite to be the case.  Many studies show that solar owners provide more benefits than costs to the grid.
    • Solar owners produce power at the most expensive time of day, during periods of peak demand. This reduces the need to purchase expensive electricity at peak times which reduces the cost for all ratepayers.
    • Producing power during peak demand also benefits the grid by avoiding or postponing the need for infrastructure investments, like a new power plant to handle peak loads. This benefits all ratepayers. For examples, PG&E (a California utility) was able to cancel 13 grid upgrade projects due to solar reducing peak load on the system, saving ratepayers $292M, IIRC.
    • When solar power is delivered to the local distribution grid, the nearest transformer passes it along to the nearest neighbors who enjoy using clean energy generated by the solar owner at their personal expense.  The neighbor does not pay extra for clean energy, and just pays the electric company at the normal retail rate.
    • Because distributed solar power is generated and consumed locally, solar owners reduce the load on transmission and distribution lines, which reduces the cost of the grid for all ratepayers.  Distributed solar offsets the extra electricity that the Utility's remote, centralized power plant would have had to produce due to electricity losses during transmission over power lines.
    • In addition to all of these benefits to the grid and ratepayers, by making a private investment in rooftop solar, solar owners are actually paying more than their fair share to support the grid.
    • Net metering is a billing arrangement between a solar customer and their utility.  When the solar panels produce more electricity than is needed, the excess electricity is delivered to the local distribution grid causing the meter to run backwards.  The solar customer pays the net difference between the energy that was used minus the energy that was delivered to the local grid. It amounts to an even exchange of energy.  Net metered customers do not get any special breaks, just like everyone else, they pay the full retail rate for the electricity they use from the grid, along with monthly customer charges, which cover the costs of overhead such as billing and meter-reading and do not receive any type of payment for energy delivered to the grid.  In effect, net metered customers are credited or compensated at retail rates for the energy and benefits they provide to the grid. Some studies have shown that distributed solar generation is worth more than retail and that net metering actually undervalues the benefits provided to the grid.

 

Comparison of versions of the bill

Original Bill

Senate Version

House Version

Bans Net Metering in 2027

Bans NM in 2022

Same as Senate

No grandfather provision.

Grandfathers solar systems installed prior to July 1, 1017. These existing solar customers would receive NM retail credit for excess solar energy until 2047.

Extends the grandfathering deadline for installing solar power from July 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017.  Customers with solar systems installed before the deadline would be grandfathered until 2047.

 

 

Allows the grandfathering process and the associated Net Metering agreement to be transferred to the property in the case of sale of the solar property.

 

Systems installed between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2022 would be allowed to Net Meter until 2032

Same as Senate

Mandates Buy-All, Sell-All which prohibits solar owners from using any of their own solar power, requiring them instead to "Buy-All" the electricity they use from their Utility and  "Sell-All" by delivering 100% of their solar power to the grid.  Solar owners would be prohibited from receiving the benefit of their own private investment in solar technology on their own private property. No other state has mandatory Buy All-Sell All.

Removes Buy All-Sell All provision.

Same as Senate

Dictates what utilities would pay for your solar power.  In a move that goes around IURC's rate-making authority and process, this bill mandates the IURC to fix the compensation rate at the Utility's avoided costs/wholesale rate, roughly 3 cents per KWhr, far below fair market value that grossly undervalues the benefits local generation provides to the grid. Read this report on the value of solar

Sets the compensation rate for excess solar to 1.25 times Utility's average marginal price/wholesale rate, roughly 4 cents per KWhr, still far below the fair market value of distributed generation.

Same as Senate

 
SOLARIZE HAMILTON COUNTY 2017 CAMPAIGN
Solar Workshops city-carmel
Free and open to the general public
  • Saturday, June 24, 2017, 1 - 3:30 p.m.
    Carmel City Hall

Solar Open House

Northeast Carmel
Dennis Shock, 7.6 kW Solar Array
5847 Hornbean Ct, Carmel, 46033
Saturday July 1st, 2-4 p.m.

Central Carmel
Bruce Russell-Jayne, 5 kW Solar Array
1452 Rohrer R, Carmel,  46032
Saturday, July 15th, 2-4 p.m.

SIGN UP HERE to receive updates and group discount

CAMPAIGN ENDS:
Sept 30, 2017

Join us for this community education campaign to solarize Hamilton County.  The campaign kicks off on June 24th, and ends on September 30th to ensure your installation can be completed this year.

This solar campaign is for residential and commercial customers.

The CGI has partnered with City of Carmel to co-host the Solarize Hamilton County 2017 Campaign to increase understanding of solar investments, simplify the solar installation process, enable access to program discounts, and advance as many solar installations as possible in 2017.  Solarize programs leverage the best possible pricing through group discounts.

Reggie Henderson, General Manager of  Energy Solutions at Telamon Corp will launch the campaign with an overview of the benefits of solar energy including net metering and how you can benefit.  Attendees will learn the basics about solar for their home or business, how net metering affects return on investment, and how to select a solar installer.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to talk to  solar installers offering a group discount for the campaign.

To maximize the economic benefit of their solar investment, people need to have their solar installations done this year.  In April, Gov. Eric Holcomb passed Senate Bill 309 to phase out net metering in Indiana.  According to this new law, solar installations completed in 2017 will qualify for full net metering rates until 2047; installations completed from 2018 to 2022 will only qualify for full net metering rates until 2032; and net metering will no longer be available for installations completed after 2022.

The goal of Solarize Hamilton County is to select qualified solar installers with the best competitive prices to participate in the campaign.  Based on the results of our selection process, we have chosen the following firms:

  • Green Alternatives Inc.
  • Jefferson Electric LLC
  • Rectify Solar LLC

So you can be sure you'll receive a good base price for your solar system. In addition, each installer offers a referral bonus and a group discount rebate depending on the total volume of sales during the campaign.

For the campaign, Carmel Green Initiative is also offering a $250 incentive rebate to the first 10 Carmel residents to install solar panels this year. Click here for details.

Solarize Hamilton County hopes to encourage, facilitate and expedite the installation of 1,000 solar panels, and was inspired by solarize programs in Bloomington, Columbus, Hoosier Solarize, Ann Arbor and other solarize programs around the country.

Local examples of solar projects:

.GOAL:

 

WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU
Come prepared to get an estimate!

1) USAGE REPORT
  • Call your electric utility and ask them to send you a 2-year history of your usage.
  • The report can be emailed to you.
  • Duke Customer Service  1-800-521-2232
  • Click here to see an example of a USAGE REPORT
    http://carmelgreen.org/images/stories/doc/Solar/Duke_Usage_Report_Example.pdf

2) GOOGLE MAP
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CARMEL SOLAR REBATE: Click here for details.
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WHAT IS NET METERING? NM is a one-for-one exchange of electricity, measured as kilowatt-hours (KWH).  The meter runs backward when you're producing excess kilowatt-hours during the daily solar peak and delivering  that excess to the local distribution grid. This excess KWH during the day is exchanged for KWH used during non-solar hours in the evening/night.  This one-for-one exchange of KWHs effectively results in energy cost savings at the retail rate, approximately 11 cents per KWH.

HOW DOES SB309 AFFECT NET METERING? The intent of the bill is to kill the free market rooftop solar industry in Indiana by phasing out net metering.  SB309 applies to homes, businesses, schools, churches and municipal buildings that want their own private solar PV systems.  It applies to all residential and commercial customers served by investor-owned utilities - Duke, IPL, Vectren, Indiana Michigan Power, and NIPSCO.

INSTALLATION ....>>...>..NET METERING
Before Dec. 31, 2017             Ends 2047
2018 – 2022                            Ends 2032
After 2022                              Not allowed

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN NET METERING ENDS? When NM is disallowed, the effective savings drops from the retail rate, approximately ~11 cents per KWH down to wholesale plus 25%, approximately 4 cents per KWH. Depending on how much solar electricity is sent to the grid (% to grid), this could have a huge impact on the economic benefit over the life of the solar panels and delays the payback period.  Click here to see a case study that illustrates this point.

 

OTHER SOLARIZE CAMPAIGNS AROUND THE STATE

Teams are coming together in Evansville, Goshen, Hamilton County, Indianapolis and South Bend, while Elkhart, Fort Wayne, Muncie, North Vernon, Northwest Indiana and Terre Haute are seeking volunteers to lead the charge. Click here to learn more about the Hoosier Solar Initiative

 

 

 

 
2016 Mass Transit

Carmel Green Initiative continues to work with a broad coalition of municipalities, businesses and organizations in support of a regional mass transit system for Central Indiana.

Mass transit is necessary for achieving a more sustainable region as well as addressing a wide range of economic development and quality of life issues.  Central Indiana needs more energy efficient transportation options to retain young professionals and compete with peer communities for new businesses and jobs.

A 2013 Inside Indiana Business poll showed that mass transit is considered to be the #1 missing infrastructure by a significant margin.  What is missing from downtown Indianapolis?

More mass transit                           62.42%
More retail/restaurants                    17.88%
More housing                                   9.09%
More school options                         5.76%
More hotels                                      4.85%
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In 2014, the Indiana legislature passed a bill to give local citizens in Central Indiana the opportunity to have a vote on local funding of mass transit for their region. In order to put it on the ballot, the referendum must be approved by local county or township officials.
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  • Learn more about the regional mass transit at Indy Connect.
  • The IndyGO Marion County Transit Plan includes extended service hours, shorter wait times, and the creation of three rapid-transit bus lines.
  • The proposed Red Line is a rapid-transit bus line that would eventually run from Westfield to Greenwood.
  • The first phase of the Red Line runs from 66th Street in Broad Ripple to the University of Indianapolis, and is expected to cost $96 million to build, with $75 million coming from a federal grant.  Construction is expected to start in spring 2017, with routes open for service in fall 2018.    The annual operating funds are expected to be $6 million and would be covered through dedicated funding.
  • The funding rate is 0.25%.  That is 25 cents per $100.  Take the income x 0.0025 to get your personal  amount.
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2016 Referendum
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Marion County

 

Clay Township, Hamilton County
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Do you favor mass transit? Button_MassTransit_do_you_supportYour input will be shared with Indiana state legislators.
This  video elaborates on the benefits of mass transit for the central Indiana region.
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People's Climate March Indiana
Saturday, April 29, 2017
10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
March Begins at Veteran's Memorial Plaza
550 N. Meridian  St. Indianapolis  46204
March Ends at PanAm Plaza, Indy VegFest
201 S Capitol Ave, Indianapolis  46225
SEE ALTERNATE PLANS DUE TO RAIN BELOW

To change everything, we need everyone!  On April 29th, there will be a People’s Climate March in Washington, DC, a continuation of the actions that happened last year, and the year before in NYC. 
https://peoplesclimate.org/

For those who can not travel to DC, a coalition is organizing a People's Climate March in Indiana. The connections between climate, poverty, education, workers, and justice will be illuminated for all Hoosiers to see. Meet up at the Veteran's Memorial Plaza at 10:30 a.m.  After speakers, we'll march to Indy VegFest at the PanAm Plaza.

See FACEBOOK event.

Twitter Handles: #PeoplesClimate #ClimateMarch

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To  demonstrate the breadth and depth of the climate movement, we need broad participation of many groups and voices.  Carmel Green Initiative is joining the march to stand in solidarit for our community and climate.

We want you to join our group to represent Carmel's climate leadership!!! You don't have to live in Carmel to join our group.

Please RSVP so we know how many people to expect.  Also, when you RSVP, please let us know if you want to carpool.

If you are interested in carpooling, please RSVP before 5 p.m. on Friday, April 28.

We'll see how many people are interested  in carpooling and how many drivers we have.  We will meet at the Meijer parking lot (1424 W Carmel Dr, Carmel, IN 46032).  The carpool will leave at 9:30 a.m. so we have enough time to find parking and meet up with others from Carmel.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP & CARPOOL

Rain Location:
Please note that there is a strong chance of rain for Saturday.  We will have this event and raise our voices, rain or shine!  In the event of severe weather, we do have an alternate location at Roberts Park United Methodist Church at 401 N Delaware St, Indianapolis, IN 46204.  Click here for map.

*Enter through the front doors

**Please DO NOT use the church parking lot.

Please stay up-to-date on the march location here.
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IF IT ENDS UP NOT STORMING:
If the weather takes a turn for the best, we’ll be holding the event at Veteran’s Plaza (pictured below). These two venues are very close together, and we'll alert everyone if something changes, but given the current forecast it's safe to plan for Roberts Park.

Veteran's Plaza approx address: 505 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208  Google map link: https://goo.gl/maps/M4dbZk35EeA2)

*Veteran’s Plaza is located diagonally across from Scottish Rite Cathedral, Veteran's Plaza has a big fountain and obelisk (pictured below).

*When you arrive, please fill in on the north side of the plaza near the founItain.

*Note: there are no restrooms at the Plaza so please stop by the library or another convenient location prior to the event.

MARCHING:
We will be marching rain or shine (but not if it’s thunder storming/lightening). After speakers conclude, we’ll be marching to Pan Am Plaza to attend Veg Fest. We expect to arrival at Veg Fest by 1:00 pm.

View the March Route: https://goo.gl/maps/kYVrjAKKNUx

*Officers will be conducting rolling lane closures for this event. We’ll be marching in the street for climate justice!

*Since we are marching in the rain, plan accordingly, bring an umbrella, your reusable water bottle, comfortable shoes etc

 

 

 
Hamilton County Parks District
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MISSION MONARCH SERIES
Movie Night     MissionMonarch
Friday March 18, 2016
7 p.m.
Cook Creek Nature Center
Join the Hamilton County Park District for a special movie feature "The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies."  This event is for all ages. Free popcorn.
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Nature Kids - Preschool Gathering
Wednesday, April 13 & Thursday, April 14, 10:30 a.m.
Cook Creek Nature Center
Learn why monarchs need milkweed. Take home milkweed to start your own garden.
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Homeschool Hikers
Thursday, April 21, 1 p.m.
Cook Creek Nature Center
Bring your homeschoolers to learn why monarchs need milkweed. Take home milkweed to start your own garden.
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Celebrate Earth Day!
Saturday, April 23rd, 1-4 p.m.
Cool Creek Nature Center
Celebrate Earth Day by learning about monarchs and the importance of native plants to butterflies.  Learn how to grow milkweed and take home you own milkweed plants so you can jump-start your garden.  Celebrate monarchs with fun activities and crafts.  Staff will also be offering woodland wildflower hikes. Fun for all ages.

Habitat Creation Workshop
Monday, May 9th, 6-8 p.m.
Cool Creek Nature Center

Learn how you can create a habitat for Monarch butterflies in your yard, church, business, or neighborhood common area. Learn about how to plan your project, maintenance considerations, financial assistance that may be available, and for the first-hand experiences from a homeowners association that has converted turf grass to Monarch habitat.
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Butterfly Hikes
Bray Family Homestead
Saturday, May 21st, 1 p.m.
Free for all ages
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River Road Park
Wednesday, June 22, 2 p.m.
Free for all ages
 
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