Tag Archives: net metering

Supportive energy policy shines spotlight on rural Nebraska

Written by Lu Nelson, Policy Associate at the Center for Rural Affairs,
Contributing Opinion, The Grand Island Independent

Through net metering, homeowners are able to save on energy rates while utilities gain access to local, renewable energy that they can use to meet the needs of other customers. Meanwhile, the installation of generating systems like solar panels brings jobs to communities where consumers are looking to invest in projects. In Nebraska, the solar industry already supports more than 1,300 jobs, and there is plenty of room for the industry to grow as panels continue to get cheaper and more efficient.

Legislative Bill 509 in the Nebraska Legislature would raise the existing cap on the size of projects that qualify for net metering. Allowing consumers to send more of their excess renewable energy to the grid helps lower costs, creates new economic opportunities, and promotes energy independence. Read more here.

LB 509: Redefine the terms net metering and qualified facility and change powers and duties of a local distribution utility

Upcoming Legislative Hearing
Nebraska Legislative Bill 678: Create the Volkswagen Settlement Cash Fund and provide duties for the Department of Environmental Quality
Introduced by Senator Tony Vargas
LB 678 Appropriations Committee Hearing: March 20. 2019 at 1:30 pm in Room 1003
Appropriations Committee
Senator John Stinner, Chairperson jstinner@leg.ne.gov
Senator Kate Bolz kbolz@leg.ne.gov

Senator Robert Clements rclements@leg.ne.gov
Senator Myron Dorn mdorn@leg.ne.gov
Senator Steve Erdman serdman@leg.ne.gov
Senator Robert Hilkemann rhilkemann@leg.ne.gov
Senator Mike McDonnell mmcdonnell@leg.ne.gov
Senator Tony Vargas tvargas@leg.ne.gov
Senator Anna Wishart awishart@leg.ne.gov

Testifier Guide (PDF)
Written Position Letter
If you are not testifying in person and would like to submit a written position letter to be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit, the letter must be delivered to the office of the committee chair (or emailed to the committee chair) of the committee conducting the hearing on the bill by 5:00 p.m. on the last work day prior to the public hearing.

Additionally, the letter must include your name and address, state a position of for, against, or neutral on the bill in question and include a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record.

Upcoming Event: Nebraska Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Conference

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is partnering with the Nebraska Power Association to host the conference on March 25, 2019 at 10 am at the Holthus Convention Center, 3130 Holen Avenue in York. On-site registration and exhibits start at 9 am.

The free conference is intended for those interested in installing public electric vehicle chargers and also for members of the public interested in the development of public electric vehicle charging in Nebraska. If you would like to participate in lunch, snacks and refreshments throughout the day, the fee will be $20 per person.

View Agenda.
To register, visit: www.evnebraska.com.

Hastings couple making switch to solar power

Photo Credit: Hastings Tribune

Photo Credit: Hastings Tribune

By Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) — Tim Smith will never look at a cloudy day the same way again after installing 30 solar panels on the roof of his workshop in north Hastings.

Tim and Pam Smith became the first Hastings Utilities customers to take advantage of LB 436, which allows participants to connect co-generation installations.

When the law was passed in 2009, its intent was to encourage private investment in renewable energy, stimulate economic growth and enhance diversification of energy resources in the state.

 Read more here.

NRG Energy sees shining future for solar

david-crane

David Crane

Recently Bill Loveless, writer for USA Today, interviewed David Crane, CEO of NRG Energy, the largest independent producer of electricity in our nation. NRG is aiming to “eventually becoming a strong rival” to Solar City, currently the industry leader in rooftop installations. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“I’m very bullish on the idea that within three to five years people will be able to go off the grid,” Crane said . . . He said he has “no time for the debate” over whether state policies promoting rooftop solar punish non-solar customers by leaving them with a greater share of a utility’s operating costs. One of those policies, known as “net metering,” requires utilities to compensate homeowners for solar power they generate but don’t use.

“What will happen is that when people can go all the way off the grid, the debate over whether net metering is fair to people who don’t have solar panels will become moot because people will have gone completely beyond the reach of the system,” he said.

Read the entire article here.