Update on effort to protect net metering: Progress!

By Emily Steiver on January 16, 2015

In one day we rallied solar supporters and had 287 comments submitted to Senate and House Energy and Judiciary Committee members! The response has been incredible, and Senate Energy Committee members let us know that they heard our message.

We also got significant media coverage of our issue.  From this morning’s Charleston Gazette story:

One complication emerged Thursday with repealing the law: It also would wipe out a net metering provision that requires power companies to give credits to customers with solar or wind power systems that generate electricity for the power grid.

Delegate Mike Caputo, D-Marion, said he had received more than 90 emails from homeowners who have invested in solar or other home energy systems and are concerned they will lose those credits if the law is repealed. Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, raised the same concerns.

Senate Energy Committee members delayed advancing their version of the bill Thursday, to allow a rewrite that will repeal most of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Act — but retain the net metering provisions.

House Energy Committee members advanced their version of the bill (HB2001) without amendment on a unanimous voice vote Thursday, but the House bill goes on to House Judiciary for further consideration.

Note that Phil Kabler, the Gazette legislative reporter, reports the situation in the Senate Energy committee accurately.

Note also this final paragraph from FirstEnergy’s lead lobbyist, Sammy Gray, an old “buddy” (sarcasm alert) of ours from the PATH fight:

While proponents of the bill criticized the law for putting, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, termed it, “onerous requirements on power companies,” FirstEnergy lobbyist Sammy Gray said the power company already can meet the alternative energy requirements through the use of waste coal, supercritical pulverized coal and hydroelectric power.

Asked if other power companies operating in the state also can comply with the act, Gray told House members, “My understanding is they can meet these standards, also, but I can only speak for FirstEnergy.”

So much for “cap and trade” “crippling the power companies.”