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Science and Environment

Want Solar Panels? Advocates Say Install Them Before Higher Net Metering Rates Disappear

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Solar panels on a roof. Higher net metering rates are set to expire in Indiana by July 2022. (Pujanak/Wikimedia Commons)

Hoosiers who want solar panels on their home only have a year to install them to get the best return on their investment. Higher net metering rates are set to expire by July 2022.

Net metering gives people with solar panels credits on their electric bills for any excess energy that they deliver to the grid. The state passed a law to phase down net metering rates four years ago — from the higher retail rate to the lower wholesale rate.

It also allowed utilities to move to that lower rate earlier in some cases — and so far at least five Indiana utilities have put in requests to do so.

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.

Solar advocates said phasing down net metering makes solar less affordable for homeowners and stifles job growth in Indiana’s solar industry. Lawmakers introduced bills that would have extended higher net metering rates during this year’s legislative session, but none of them passed.

Contact reporter Rebecca at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.