Environment

The Kentucky Senate has voted down the latest version of a “net metering” bill that attempted a compromise between the interests of utilities and the state’s solar industry.

Senators expressed dissatisfaction with Amendment 1 on SB 100 on Thursday. With a voice vote, they refused to concur with changes made to the bill.

Instead, they agreed to send a letter to representatives in the House asking them to remove the amendment from the original bill.

The House amended the bill last week to add some protections for the solar industry and solar customers.

Senate Bill 100 would give utility regulators authority to set exchange rates that solar customers receive for the electricity they feed back into the grid.

The amendment included a clause to ensure that utility regulators considered the benefits as well as the costs that residential solar provides for utilities.

It also grants the solar industry the ability to intervene on behalf of solar customers that go before utility regulators, and provides a 10-year grandfather period for anyone who purchases solar for their home after the initial case sets the new rate, but before 2024.

Advocates for solar praised the amendment, though they said the bill still had problems.

Opponents of the amendment included Republican Rep. Jim Gooch who said power companies pay unfairly high prices for the excess retail power that solar customers generate.

Ryan Van Velzer is WFPL's Energy and Environment Reporter.