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1/24/2018 6:42:00 PM
Huntingburg's net metering to expand to commercial customers

Candy Neal, Herald Staff Writer

HUNTINGBURG — Commercial customers will soon be able to participate in the city’s net metering program.

Net metering is a system in which customers’ solar panels or other renewable energy generators are connected to a public utility power grid and surplus power is transferred onto the grid, allowing customers to offset the cost of power drawn from the utility.

The Huntingburg Common Council directed Tuesday evening that amendments be made to the city’s net metering ordinance and net tariff document to include commercial customers. Wording in the ordinance on the type of customers will also be changed.

“We want to be fair,” Mayor Denny Spinner said this morning, “for everyone to be able to use the system while maintaining the limitations.”

Energy Superintendent John Reutopohler told the council Tuesday that a company is interested in participating in the program. The company, which he didn’t name, “is looking at using about 22 kilowatts,” he said. Residences’ units are limited to produce up to 10 kilowatts. A proposed change to the ordinance will stipulate a limit of 30 kilowatts for commercial properties.

Placing limits is needed to make sure the city doesn’t go over its imposed limit of what’s available in the program, which is 182 kilowatts. If that amount was increased, it would affect the infrastructure used to carry the electric to the properties.

“We still have our fixed costs for maintenance,” he said.

Customers who participate in the program pay a fee to help with those fixed costs.

Along with the kilowatts limit for commercial properties, another proposed change states that only one unit is allowed per customer. Changes also rename customers as residential and commercial instead of single- and three-phase customers.

An amendment of the proposed changes will be brought back to the council for review.

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