Net metering in Indiana
What is net metering?
Net metering ensures you receive fair credit for the electricity your system produces. It allows you to count the electricity you generate with your system against the electricity you buy from your utility.
With net metering, you earn full retail rate credit on your electric bill for the electricity you produce and send to your neighbors. That means the electricity you send out receives the same value as electricity you purchase from the grid — an even swap.
Why net metering benefits everyone
Rooftop solar does more than provide direct bill savings to solar owners. It produces clean electricity close to where it’s most needed. This is good for the entire community.
More rooftop solar can lower costs for everyone by:
- reducing energy loss through transmission,
- producing electricity during times of the day when the energy is needed most,
- improving grid stability, and
- reducing the need for the electric utility to spend customer money on expensive infrastructure.
Cleaner energy from solar also promotes public health through healthier air and drinking water. And, rooftop solar produces good-paying, local jobs in one of the nation’s fastest growing employment sectors.
Why net metering is no longer available to new solar owners
In 2017 Indiana lawmakers passed SEA 309. (See below for more information about SEA 309) Because of this bill, net metering is no longer available for new solar owners served by Indiana’s largest electric utilities:
- AES Indiana
However, you may be eligible for net metering if your electricity comes from a rural electric member cooperative (REMC) or a municipal utility (depending on local policies).
Visit this web page for more information about the solar credits available to new solar owners. This credit is also called excess distributed generation, or EDG.
Solar owners who installed their systems while net metering was still available are referred to as being “grandfathered” into net metering. Being “grandfathered” into net metering is based on your installation date. After net metering ends for these customers, they will be moved to the EDG program.
- A system installed before 2018 will receive full net metering until July 1, 2047.
- A system installed between the start of 2018 and the end of net metering for new customers would receive full net metering until July 1, 2032.
Billing and credit
During some months, you may generate more electricity than you use. If this happens, you can apply the credit you earn through net metering to the following month. Think of it like rollover minutes on your phone plan. The credits will roll over from month to month indefinitely, as long as:
- you keep your account with the utility; and
- the solar panels remain in service.
This measurement system for determining net metering credits is called monthly netting or billing cycle netting.
As a solar owner, you are credited at the “full retail value” for your electricity. This means that you earn the same credit as what it would cost to buy that same electricity from the utility — an even swap.
If you sell your solar home, the net metering agreement with your utility can be passed on to the new account holder. To ensure the transfer process goes smoothly, it’s best to retain your copy of the interconnection agreement between you and your utility for reference by the new homeowner. However, any accumulated carryover credits will generally be erased from the account.
Note: This only applies to solar owners who are customers of an investor-owned utility (IOU). You may find different rules if you are a customer of a rural electric member cooperative (REMC) or a municipal utility.
Net metering for grandfathered systems in Indiana
|System capacity limit||The customer’s average annual consumption of electricity on the premises, up to 1 MW.|
|Monthly excess generation credit rate||For systems installed before December 31, 2017:
For systems installed after January 1, 2018 and before no later than July 1, 2022:
|Annual excess generation credit rate||Full retail credit (credit rolls over indefinitely as long as the customer remains a customer at the utility).|
|Applicable utilities||Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs). REMC member-owners and municipal electric customers may have net metering available, but that must be determined on a utility-by-utility basis.|
How to read your net metering bill
How SEA 309 ended net metering
In 2017, Indiana passed a law that ended net metering. The law (SEA 309) requires the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to set a new, lower credit rate for the excess electricity solar owners generate but don’t use themselves. This rate is well below the fair 1-to-1 credit net metering provides.
The new rate is determined by multiplying the average wholesale cost of electricity by 125%. The wholesale cost is the price the utility pays for the electricity. You can read more about this replacement for net metering, called excess distributed generation (EDG) here. Solar owners who installed their system while net metering was still available retain full net metering until either 2032 or 2047. This date depends on when their system was installed (as described in more detail above).
Fighting for fair credit for all solar owners
Since launching our Indiana program in 2019, SUN has worked hard to fight for the right of solar owners to receive fair credit for all the electricity they produce.
In the spring of 2019, SUN worked with Citizens Action Coalition and IndianaDG to create more transparency for solar owners and companies around net metering. The law that gutted net metering let utilities end it when solar generation hit certain benchmarks in their territory. Thanks to our collective efforts, the state required more frequent net metering data reporting from utilities. These reports helped solar owners, advocates, and companies keep track of how much longer net metering was expected to be available for different utility customers. Those Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) quarterly net metering reports are available online.
In May 2020, Vectren (now known as CenterPoint) became Indiana’s first investor-owned utility (IOU) to file a petition to end net metering. Centerpoint is the IOU serving parts of southwest Indiana, including Evansville. The IURC approved the utility’s proposed EDG rate and ended net metering for potential solar owners served by CenterPoint in the spring of 2021.
SUN joined with other organizations and advocates to protect your right to a fair solar credit by appealing how solar credits are measured (commonly known as the netting period) in the IURC’s order on CenterPoint’s new EDG rate. Other groups working on the CenterPoint appeal include:
- Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC)
- Citizens Action Coalition
- Vote Solar
- Environmental Law & Policy Center
- Solarize Indiana
Many of those groups have also joined SUN in appealing the proposed net metering replacements for other utilities as well. The IURC has also approved EDG programs for all other investor-owned utilities as well, including AES Indiana, NIPSCO, I&M, and Duke Energy Indiana.
In January 2022, the Indiana Court of Appeals sided with SUN and our allies in an important ruling. While the lower EDG rate is unchanged, it preserved the traditional monthly netting period for measuring solar credits. If this ruling stands, it would restore fairness to the method for crediting solar owners. The Indiana Supreme Court is currently considering the case.
No matter the outcome, SUN remains committed to fighting to ensure all solar owners receive fair credit.
You can stay committed to the fight too. We encourage all solar supporters to join together to fight for their energy rights. Stay committed by joining our Solar Action Team! Advocates from around the state have joined the Solar Action Team to fight for fair solar policies! If you’d like to join our efforts, please contact us at: [email protected].
Net metering resources in Indiana
Net metering code
- The statute establishing the rules for investor owned utilities, including the full details of Indiana’s net metering policy, is found in the full text of Indiana Code 8-1-40
- The details of the law ending net metering for investor owned utilities customers can be found in the full text of SEA 309 of 2017
Net metering reports and utility interconnection information
- Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission’s (IURC) quarterly net metering reports
- The details describing the utility reporting requirements as part of implementing SEA 309 are in the full text of IURC General Administrative Order 2019-2
- IURC net metering and interconnection timeline and documents
Net metering information by investor-owned utility
Net metering stories
- Indiana politicians got thousands in gifts while pushing solar policy – The Indianapolis Star
- Solar power is about to become a lot more expensive for Hoosiers as net metering expires – The Indianapolis Star