Grid-Tied Regulations in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky

Most of our customers opt for grid-tied solar systems for maximum financial benefit. Grid-tied systems will feed back extra energy you produce to your utility company and give you credits for when you under-produce or don’t produce. How much those credits are worth depend on your state and utility company. Wanda the Wealth Warrior here to help you understand the grid-tied net metering policies that have been enacted and are currently being considered in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.

Ohio Grid-Tied & Net Metering Policies

On November 8, 2017, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) passed that systems are sized to generate the customer’s own power only and cannot exceed 120% of the customer’s average electrical usage of the past three years. Additionally, regulated electric distribution utilities standard service customers will be credited monthly at generation rate, which is lower than retail rate. Customers may request a refund in the form of an annual credit “true-up.”

Rural electric cooperatives and municipal electric utilities are exempt from state law for competitive electric companies and are not required to offer net metering. However, some may do so. Check with them or ask us.

Indiana Grid-Tied & Net Metering Policies

Indiana Senate Bill 309 passed in May 2017 and took effect January 1, 2018. It’s broken down into three groups in a timeline to phase out mandated maximum net metering benefits:

  • Installations before January 1, 2018, receive the original net metering benefits of selling back at retail value until the year 2047. Starting July 1, 2047, excess energy can be sold back at wholesale value, or “the average marginal price of electricity paid by the electricity supplier during the most recent calendar year” plus 25 percent.
  • Installations before January 1, 2022, receive the original net metering benefits of selling back at retail value until July 1, 2032. After that, excess energy can be sold back at wholesale value.
  • Beginning January 1, 2023, new installations receive wholesale value net metering policies.

Subsequent buyers of the home with a solar system may opt into the remainder of the net metering contract in effect with the previous owner. Because the law dictates net metering policy at the state level, energy companies can still provide their own net metering credit system to be approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).

Kentucky Grid-Tied & Net Metering Policies

Kentucky currently provides retail rate (1-to-1) net metering credits. However, it looks like Kentucky politicians are lined up to begin stripping away solar owners’ benefits, copying Indiana’s SB 309, with House Bill 227. This effort is backed by two organizations: the Texas-based Consumer Energy Alliance, which is influenced by a Canadian tar sands oil company, and DC-based American Legislative Exchange Council, which is supported by big oil.

Cutting the retail rate to wholesale will reduce the value by 70 percent. Matt Partymiller, Kentucky Solar Industries Association, says, “HB 227 is not simply an anti-solar bill. It is an anti-free market bill that is designed to ensure that private generators of solar energy become subsidiaries of their monopoly utility. Utilities may keep caps in place on the amount of solar a customer generator can install as well as the percentage of solar that will be allowed on the grid.”

House Bill 227 recently went to the Kentucky State House, but it was sent back to the Natural Resources and Energy Committee for review and further amendments. “Among the proposed amendments,” James Bruggers of the Louisville Courier Journal warns, “is one that would task the Kentucky Public Service Commission with determining whether utility customers without solar panels are subsidizing those who have them. There’s also the possibility that lawmakers may slap an extra fee on customers who have solar panels before any [Public Service Commission] study, which [Director of the Kentucky Resources Council Tom] FitzGerald said would be premature.”

ACT NOW by calling your local politicians to defend your energy independence and support for the future in Kentucky jobs and resources. Kentuckians for the Commonwealth has provided a clear action guide.