Bill to curb rooftop panels suffers setback in Kentucky House

Published 8:59 am Monday, March 5, 2018


Louisville Courier Journal

The bill that critics say would sharply curtail residential solar power in Kentucky was rejected – for now – by the state House of Representatives.

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House Bill 227 could not muster the votes it needed to pass the House, so lawmakers sent it back to a committee to sort through many proposed amendments.

Tom FitzGerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council, said the bill is by no means dead. But he said the fact it was sent back to the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee shows that even within the majority Republican caucus there wasn’t a consensus on the bill.

The bill is backed by utilities in Kentucky and would slash credits that utilities must provide to future solar panel owners for any extra electricity they produce.

Among the proposed amendments is one that would task the Kentucky Public Service Commission with determining whether utility customers without solar panels are subsidizing those who have them. There’s also the possibility that lawmakers may slap an extra fee on customers who have solar panels before any PSC study, which FitzGerald said would be premature.