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Net Metering Change Passes The State Senate

A bank of solar panels in a small field.
Dan Boyce

The Wyoming Senate gave its final approval on Friday to a bill that would change the net metering law in the state.

Net Metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for electricity they add to the grid. This reduces their electricity bills.

The legislation is intended to change the way solar customers are compensated but leaves it up to the Wyoming Public Service Commission to hold hearings and try to resolve differences between solar consumers and electric utilities.

Electric utilities say solar users are raising the rates of their consumers. In different amendments, the senate grandfathered current solar users from being harmed by the legislation. Casper Senator Charles Scott added another amendment that directs the PSC to keep costs balanced for all consumers.

"Making sure that our constituents don't end up paying much higher electric rates, because there is a fad, particularly from those people who want to get rid of fossil fuels," said Scott.

Opponents of the legislation fear that it could harm the solar industry in the state. The Senate narrowly passed the bill 16 to 13 and it now heads to the Wyoming House for its consideration.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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