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SB 100 FAQs | OHIO SOLAR: CINCINNATI - (513) 400-7340 | INDIANA SOLAR: BLOOMINGTON - (812) 558-2200
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SB100 FAQs
We know there are a lot of questions and concerns around the passage of SB100.

Here are some of the questions we have been receiving most frequently. If you don't see your question answered here, scroll further down you will find more of a synopsis of SB100 to date. Also, please feel free to submit a question to us via the contact us section of the website. Emails are answered daily so we are usually able to answer questions with in 2 business days.
Current Solar Owners

Q) How will SB100 effect me if I already have solar installed on my and I am already net metering?

If you already have solar installed and have a net metering agreement, you will stay in that same arrangement, with 1:1 credit given to energy exported and imported from the grid. This arrangement will last for 25 years.

Q) If I want to expand my system, how does the new law affect me?

The answer depends on when you expand your system.

» If you expand your solar system this year, the current 1:1 ratio applies to that installation. You will need a net metering agreement for the new system and to have that system completely installed, inspected, in service and with a net metering agreement in place, but the current law applies.

» If you expand your system in 2020, then the answer is less clear.

» Net metering ends in Kentucky after utilities file rate cases with the Public Service Commission to move to the new Net Billing paradigm established under SB100. Utilities can commence rate cases effective 1/1/2020. Rate cases will likely take at least six months to conclude. To be 100% sure to get the 1:1 net metering ratio, we strongly recommend that you have your solar in place, inspected, and with a net metering agreement by the end of the year.

» To determine what value a utility may give for any solar energy exported to the grid next year, each utility will have a rate case at the Public Services Commission, the out come of those cases will determine the value. We don't know yet, exactly when after the end of this year, new rates will be applied or what those rates will be.

Q) What is the net metering cap and will it affect me?

The net metering cap was raised from 30 kW to 45 kW. But it's of no real value getting 50% more net metering capacity when the value is going to be slashed by probably 70%

Q) What dates do I need to keep in mind? What is the time frame for the current net metering to end and then new law to go into effect?

If you want to add solar and be 100% sure that you will be able to enjoy the same 1:1 ratio/credit from your expanded system, then you need to have that system installed, inspected, in service, and with a net metering agreement in place by 12/31/2019. In reality, things will start to pile up at the end so we recommend you start earlier and target the beginning of December as when you need to have everything in place. Really, the sooner you start the better.

Future Solar Owners

Q) I've been considering solar for my home and now I'm not sure how the new law will effect me, what do I need to know?

If you want the current 1:1 net metering law so you will receive equal value for all power you export to the grid with power you import back from the electric grid, your system needs to be installed, inspected, and you need your net metering agreement in place by the end of the year. We anticipate that there will be a pile up of projects at the end of the year so the sooner the better.

Q) What if I'm not able to install a solar system this year, what happens after 2019?

Net metering ends in Kentucky after utilities file rate cases with the Public Service Commission to move to the new Net Billing paradigm established under SB100. Utilities can commence rate cases effective 1/1/2020. Rate cases will likely take at least six months to conclude. To be 100% sure to get the 1:1 net metering ratio, we strongly recommend that you have your solar in place, inspected, and with a net metering agreement by the end of the year.

Q) If I put solar on after the new Net Billing paradigms go into effect is there anything I can doto get full value from my excess power?

Yes, you can install a battery, like the Tesla Powerwall, to save extra solar power generated during the day for use at night. You can also reserve a percentage of that power to use in the event of a grid outage. That's something you don't get with a straight net-metered system. Additionally, batteries qualify for the federal tax credit as long as they are charged solely with solar power.

Important Dates for Solar

Q) What dates should I be aware of with the passage of SB100 and also the federal tax credit?

12/31/2019 is the date to remember with both net metering and the beginning of the federal tax credit decline.

» To qualify for the current 1:1 net metering credit a solar system must be installed, inspected, in service, and have a net metering agreement. You cannot sign a contract on the last day of December and be 100% sure to fall under the current law.

» For the full 30% federal tax credit, a solar system must be installed, inspected, and before the end of the 12/31/2019. Again, a signed contract is not enough. Systems installed in 2020 will qualify for a 26% federal tax credit, in 2021 for a 22% federal tax credit.

Key Points of SB100
» It ends net metering as a 1:1 credit banking system. If you produce excess energy in the day it is lost to you (no banked credit) and will be paid out, likely, at low wholesale rates. If you come back home a few hours later and need your own produced energy back - you pay retail for it. So you sell your extra energy at low, wholesale prices and buy energy you need after dark at high, retail prices.

» The rates you are to be paid will be decided for each utility, one by one, by the PSC. There is no requirement at all for them to consider or value the benefits to the grid and utility that solar provides.

» No guaranteed ability for consumers, installers or solar industry bodies to intervene in rate cases. Given the PSC has recently refused to allow low income housing and advocacy groups to intervene in LG&E rate cases for the first time in memory this does not bode well.

» If net metering gets to 1% of supply the utility will not offer it as an option any more. Before this was a soft 1% cap that allowed the PSC to consider and take a balanced view.

» No ability to aggregate meters for farms

» They raised the net metering cap from 30 kW to 45 kW. But its of no real value getting 50% more net metering capacity when the value is going to be slashed by probably 70%.
What this means for solar now and this year
At a minimum, any net metered (< 30 kW) solar installation that occurs before 01/01/2020 will be grandfathered into the current 1:1 net metering structure for 25 years. Non-net metered commercial solar (> 30 kW) is unchanged by this bill. This will reduce the credit rate the utility gives to solar home generators for solar energy they feed back to the grid. This change will happen no earlier than 1/1/20. In reality, as a result of the required rate cases that will be held to determine what the rate will be after 1/1/2020, the change may not go into effect until later because of the time needed for rate case proceedings.

We won't know what rate will be given to solar power fed into the grid from solar home generators with the new Net Billing paradigm until after the rate cases are completed. Solar Energy Solutions and KYSEIA will work hard to represent the interests of solar in those rate cases if we can, but the legislation may be written to prevent us from doing so fully or being able to introduce the needed evidence of the many quantifiable benefits of solar.
Solar Installations This Year
If you are considering installing solar or expanding an existing array, it is imperative that you do it sooner rather than later if you want the current 1:1 net metering credit. Our experience of similar legislative changes in Indiana showed an enormous surge in install requests that our small regional industry found hard to service.
Our Role
Solar Energy Solutions has been at the forefront of the fight against SB100. As well as being the regional leader in solar power and Tesla energy storage products we are a cause-driven, environmentally minded company that will continue to battle day in and day out for the clean energy future we all need to transition to with urgency.

Click here to link to SB100 bill