Stop SB 309
It’s a dark time for solar energy at the Indiana Statehouse. SB 309, the bill to end net metering, where solar homeowners exchange surplus energy with the grid, easily passed the Senate 2 weeks ago and will be heard in the House Utilities Committee on March 22, 9am, in House Chambers.
SB 309 poses two challenges. First, the harm it will do to Indiana’s growing solar business. We know the need for low-carbon energy sources to help us combat climate change and clean power to provide safer air, water, and soil for communities disproportionately impacted by our current toxic sources. But second, the threat to solar isn’t just about whether solar will continue to grow in our state, it’s about who controls it.
Powerful utility interests have dominated the discussion inside the State legislature, against the overwhelming outcry from citizens, small businesses, schools, cities, faith leaders, solar installers, farms and many more. Distortions of the facts have led many lawmakers to believe in an unproven “subsidy” to rooftop solar owners and accept that rewriting a successful policy prematurely is okay.
It’s not okay. We deserve to have a fully open and transparent discussion about our energy, what it’s truly worth, and our priorities, with all voices represented, but more importantly, with all the facts on the table. Utility company talking points are insufficient to demonstrate the factual value of rooftop solar. A study before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission before any policy-making is the only way to have any scientific understanding of our current situation. The Commission can access utility data that our lawmakers are unable to see. Half-hearted attempts to amend SB 309 have been a feeble attempt at softening the edges on what remains a blunt instrument designed to crack the residential solar market in favor of utility scale energy systems and large customers only.
We have to stop SB 309, we have to ask our State Representatives to stand with voters not only to support solar energy but give us real choices in our power sources. The Earth Charter asks us to "rely increasingly on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind,” but it doesn’t stop there. It tells us to “strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.”
It is our view that we must democratize our energy choices, requiring transparency with an eye not only to financial facts but environmental responsibility. Please ask your State Representative to vote NO on SB 309, to stand with us and not monopoly corporations. We deserve to bring our energy decisions into the light of day.
To contact your State Representatives, please find them HERE,
or call the Switchboard at (317) 232-9600
To see how your State Senator voted on SB 309, check the results HERE.
• Earth Charter Indiana Night at the Indiana Pacers, March 20.
• An ECI Fundraiser! Please join us on Saturday, March 25, to celebrate our City County Council Climate Resolution Victory, and raise some funds for our organization. For more information, go here.