September 01, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2016
David Jakubiak, ELPC
Katy Heggen, IEC
Utility Proposals Filed in Iowa Solar Energy Case
Environmental Groups Renew Call for Strong Net Metering Standards
On July 19, 2016, the Iowa Utilities Board issued a strong order preserving the existing net metering framework. The order also requires utilities to file pilot net metering tariffs designed to encourage renewable energy development. On Wednesday, MidAmerican Energy and Interstate Power and Light Company filed proposals with the Board.
The Iowa Environmental Council and Environmental Law & Policy Center are reviewing the utilities’ proposals. We look forward to receiving input from solar developers, customers, and other stakeholders, and continuing to work with the utilities to effectively implement the Board’s order to preserve and expand net metering and encourage more renewable energy in Iowa. In addition, we think the intent of the Board was to allow customers to net meter up to 100 percent of their annual energy usage. We are concerned that the requirement to have the cash out in January limits this. We look forward to working with all stakeholders and the Board to address this issue moving forward.
“We commend MidAmerican for proactively working with stakeholders to address concerns about the definition of 100 percent of load and allowing third party financed systems to net meter in its initial filing,” said Josh Mandelbaum, staff attorney with the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “We are disappointed that IPL did not address concerns that we shared in developing this filing, but we are hopeful that they will make improvements going forward.”
“Iowa has the potential to be a leader in solar, just as we are for wind, and growing solar energy benefits our economy and environment,” said Nathaniel Baer, energy program director at the Iowa Environmental Council. “Net metering is one of the key policies to encourage more solar, which the Board order recognizes, and we expect the utilities to implement the pilots to achieve this goal.”