Solar is not dead in Zionsville | Columns

Just because our state legislators tried to quash clean solar energy, doesn’t mean the opportunity for you to reap the payback of solar panels is over. There’s still time, and Solarize will help. Join them for an informative meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, at Sullivan Munce Cultural Center, 225 W. Hawthorne St., to learn about your last opportunity to get the full benefits from the sun.

The Backstory.

In May, Indiana Governor Holcomb signed the “anti-solar,” Republican-led bill authored by Senator Brandt Hershman. The bill, SB 309, was universally considered an industry-backed rather than a consumer-oriented bill. The utility companies gained, while homeowners and the environment lost.

SB 309 rips apart financial incentives for clean rooftop solar. It effectively ends over time any consumer payback or “net metering” in Indiana. Simply stated, net metering allows consumers who produce electricity through solar panels to “sell back” to the utility companies their over-production on sunny days. If a homeowner’s solar panels produce more than needed, the utility company credits the homeowner for the excess that flows back to the grid. SB 309 phases out the paybacks. This is a win for the utility companies and a defeat for consumers and small businesses.

This bill hurts the solar panel industry, which has become a strong developing small business industry in Indiana. According to a story by Think Progress, “Clean energy has also become a significant source of jobs in Indiana. While coal is the biggest source of electricity in the state, renewables employ far more people.” The solar industry employs about as many people as the coal industry, and many of these jobs are from small businesses that install solar panels around the state.

The Opportunity.

Solarize, an all volunteer organization, has been holding info sessions around the state to encourage homeowners to embrace the benefits of solar before the deadline at the end of 2017. Meetings in Central Indiana have met with great success. One Zionsville homeowner, Marsha Webster, just had solar panels installed and will be at the Solarize meeting to share her experiences. Many will be surprised at how financially reasonable the panels are and how quick the pay-back is on them.

You are encouraged to attend if you have had an interest in solar panels and want to learn more. The evening will consist of a short slide presentation of basic information about the costs and benefits of solar panels and the decisions that need to be made. At the meeting, you will have the opportunity to ask questions with no sales people involved. Attend the Solarize Zionsville and get ready to be solarized.

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13 September 2017 12:00 pm
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