Updated: Alliant Energy Net Metering Policy Changes
The Iowa Utilities Board has accepted a policy change from Alliant Energy which alters regulations on net metering (*see below for a definition). Alliant’s current net metering policy is optimal for solar; in most cases, we’re able to offset your electrical bill by 100%. Unfortunately, Alliant’s new policy will lead to customers having to size their solar system significantly below their annual energy use or to incur significantly higher costs/longer payback periods.
The policy change is currently scheduled to go into effect
April 1st, 2017 May 1st, however if you file an interconnection application before April 1st, 2017 May 1st, then you’ll be grandfathered into the current net metering policy. Then you’ll have up to 12 months to complete the installation of the solar array.
Several organizations have petitioned the Iowa Utilities Board to reconsider their decision, and the Iowa Utilities Board has 30 days to respond. We’ll keep you updated on the issue as new information comes to light.
The Iowa Utilities Board docket updated in the afternoon of March 31st, to state,
Any customer who submits a completed interconnection application prior to May 1, 2017 will be allowed to take service under the existing AEP Rate.
We also received an email from Alliant about the March 31st docket updates. A representative from the Renewable Energy Hotline states that:
The deadline has been extended due to Alliant Energy filed a revision to the net metering pilot today to include the information the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) requested in their March 17 Order. The effective date of the net metering pilot tariff is May 1, 2017 however is subject to change pending Board approval. [sic]
After reviewing the documents, our interpretation leads us to believe that the May 1st deadline is likely, but it is uncertain until the IUB officially approves it. As always, we remain committed to serving our customers and making sure you have the latest and most accurate information to make a decision. We’ll continue to keep you updated as more information is released.
*NET METERING is when a solar array produces more energy than is being immediately consumed and you are able to credit that excess energy back to the utility company. They apply that credit to electricity you use at night or on cloudy days. This can net you a $0 bill, aside from a monthly service fee.