Vectren proposes changing reimbursement amount for solar panels

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Energy company Vectren has proposed changing how much people with solar panels are reimbursed for the excess power they produce. Proponents of alternative energy are already fighting back.

Vectren says that the current market price is not accurate, and that people distributing energy on the grid are making it more expensive for the majority of others.

Morton Solar is opposing this by saying that if someone benefits their community through solar production, they should be compensated equally to what they pay for the amount of electricity.

President Brad Morton says that net metering should reward someone for being green.

“When your meter goes backwards, we think it’s fair to get the same rate that you pay for energy. That’s what net metering does is allow that meter to run in both directions,” Morton said.

Morton Solar & Electric has filed objection and testimony into Vectren’s rate case.

The proposed tariff for customers with existing systems, as well as for those who plan to install are as follows:

Customers with systems that were installed by Dec. 31, 2017, will continue to be credited at the full retail price* for excess power put on the grid until 2047. After 2047, excess power will be credited at the wholesale market price** plus a 25% premium;

Customers with systems installed after Dec. 31, 2017 through the date of the approval of the filing will be credited at the full retail price for excess power put back on the grid until 2032. After 2032, excess power will be credited at the wholesale market price plus a 25% premium;

Customers who are currently in Vectren’s queue with an approved interconnection application will be credited at the full retail price for excess power put back on the grid until 2032. After 2032, excess power will be credited at the wholesale market price plus a 25% premium;

Customers who receive an approved interconnection application by December 31, 2020 will be credited at the full retail price for excess power put on the grid until 2032. After 2032, excess power will be credited at the wholesale market price plus a 25% premium;

Customers with applications approved after Dec. 31, 2020 will be credited at the wholesale market rate plus a 25% premium for excess power put on the grid.

*Retail price: The full price per unit a customer would pay Vectren for a kilowatt hour of electricity. The retail price accounts for the price of the power consumed, including the generation units and fuel costs needed to generate the electricity; costs to access and maintain the entire electric grid; and various customer service fees for billing, metering and energy efficiency programs.

**Wholesale market price: The price Vectren would pay if the power the customer generated was purchased on the wholesale market. The wholesale (or purchase in large quantity) price for power is typically 25 to 30% of the retail price.

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