Solar energy policy sees final passage

Solar panels field at sunset

Late Thursday night, legislation seeking to update Kentucky’s private net metering policy to ensure costs remain fair for all energy consumers saw final passage in the state House after the legislative body receded from an amendment attached to the bill earlier this session.

Current law requires utility companies to credit private net metering energy customers, such as those with rooftop solar, for electricity they generate at a rate that’s higher than utilities pay for other energy sources.

Senate Bill 100, sponsored by Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee Chair Brandon Smith, would continue to require the utility to take excess power generated by private net metering customers but would ensure all customers pay their fair share of utility service by authorizing the Public Service Commission (PSC) to determine the value of excess electricity. The PSC regulates retail electric service throughout most of the state.

The amended version of Senate Bill 100 had passed out of the House earlier this session with provisions considered unfriendly by House Natural Resources and Energy Committee Chair Jim Gooch, based on the significant, negative changes to the bill.

After the House amended the bill, the Senate refused to concur and asked the House to recede from the changes.  the House kept the bill in the orders for several days awaiting the final decision on whether to recede from the changes. It was finally taken up on day 29 of the 30-day session.

Rep. Gooch noted the PSC was opposed to the legislation in its amended form. And the House voted to recede from their amendment after discussion.

Senate Bill 100, in its original form, saw final passage with a 55-36 vote. The solar policy now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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