AIA Kentucky's Government Affairs Committee has recently been tracking
House Bill 227
changes Kentucky's net metering law in a way that drastically reduces incentives for solar power in Kentucky. Currently, utility customers that install rooftop solar are reimbursed for the energy they generate and feedback to the grid at the retail rate. HB 227 would change this to the wholesale rate which would be a 70% reduction in the reimbursement customers receive. The effect would be to significantly lengthen the payback period for a homeowner's solar investment and reduce the value of rooftop solar in Kentucky.
Utilities view rooftop solar as a threat to their business model. The argument for HB 227 is that there are fixed costs that they incur to maintain reliable power to all customers. This is not in dispute, but there are mechanisms to address this issue and the true cost to the utilities are not known since there has never been a full Public Service Commission study of the matter. The utilities and their allies will also argue that solar only benefits the wealthy. Yet national studies show that two-thirds of all systems are installed by middle income families.
HB 227 passed out of committee on February 8 and was in the House Rules Committee until last Friday when it was sent to the House floor for consideration. The bill could be voted on as early as tomorrow (Tuesday, February 20). There are currently twenty floor amendments, but it is unclear if any of them will end up being attached to the bill. The bill as passed out of committee is bad and needs to be defeated.
Contact your State Representative and let them know that you oppose
is especially important if you have personal experience with rooftop solar installations, or a personal relationship with a member of the House to let them know you are opposed to this bill. Here is how:
Call Greg Brotzge at 502-819-6780, or Janet Pike at 859-223-8201, if you have questions or need further assistance and, if you receive any feedback from anyone you have contacted, please let us know ASAP.
Thanks in advance for your action on this important issue!
Janet D. Pike, Hon. AIA
Executive Vice President