Sen. Lofgren: An Equitable Solution for Solar Customers

From Sen. Mark Lofgren’s newsletter:

Since the first day of the Republican Senate Majority, we have set out to pass legislation to level the playing field for all Iowans. This week, we passed a bill, Senate File 583, to do exactly that for energy customers and consumers.

There are many Iowans who have chosen to install solar panels for private energy generation on their property. The concern is these consumers are currently not paying the equal charges other customers are paying for upkeep and maintenance of the grid, because utilities currently recover their infrastructure expenditures through a customer’s energy charge (kWh usage).

Those who use solar panels to offset their energy consumption use the grid 99% of the time when compared to regular customers.  They use it during the day to offset their energy use and push out excess generation to the grid. At night, or when it is cloudy outside, they pull energy from the grid, just like every other customer. However, when a solar customer uses their generation to offset their kWh usage, they are avoiding grid infrastructure costs despite the fact they use the grid just as much as their neighbor without solar panels.

Senate File 583 creates a system to allow customers to pay their fair share of infrastructure costs. This proposal provides an equitable solution for all customers by providing them with options best suited for their solar use, provides certainty for anyone who wants to install solar in the future, grandfathers those who have already made an investment based on the existing rates, and helps support reliable and affordable energy infrastructure for all Iowans.