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Renewable energy is a rapidly growing industry with many businesses and residents committing to solar and wind power for their electricity needs.

Many times, those with solar panels produce more energy than they need and sell the excess back to the utility company. This practice is known as “net metering,” and more than 1,000 people across the state participated in net metering last year alone.

District 48 State Senator Mark Messmer of Jasper says under the previous law, customers received the full retail rate for the electricity they sold back.

He says the retail rate could sometimes be more than double the market rate, causing higher utility fees for the other customers.

This year, lawmakers passed Senate Enrolled Act 309, which Messmer says addresses the electricity rates credited to the utility customers who generate their own power and sell it back to utility companies……

Messmer says this law will phase down the subsidy for those selling their surplus energy back to the grid but grandfathers in those who are currently participating in net metering for the next 30 years….

As a compromise for phasing down this rate, SEA 309 raises the cap for net metering from 1 percent to 1.5 percent of an IOU’s peak summer load, allowing more customers to begin net metering than the previous law did.

The cost of purchasing solar panels has dropped significantly since net metering began, reducing the need to pay consumers excessive rates. SEA 309 offers a long-range, common-sense approach to regulating net metering while recognizing the importance of renewable energy for our state.

As always, feel free to contact Messmer’s office directly with any questions and concerns by email at or by phone at 800-382-9467.


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