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IDEA Seeking Case Studies or Stories to Share with IURC on Net Metering May 30, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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Dear Readers,

These are the written remarks I received from Don Mahoney following his testimony at the Senate Utilities and Technology Committee hearing earlier this year on the pending net metering legislation. IDEA is currently seeking more case studies or storied to share with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission during their meeting on June 3rd.

Please send this information to me: Laura.Arnold@indianaDG.org.

Thank you. 

18 February 2010

Mr. Chairman, Committee Members,

We are Don and Nancy Mahoney of Argos, Marshall County, IN.

We appreciate this opportunity to share with you our personal experience as an owner/operator of a small electric generation facility in Indiana.  We applaud your efforts and we enthusiastically support net metering.  However, we believe that it must apply equally to all customers of all electric utilities, not to just the customers of investor owned utilities.  We are customers and members of a Rural Electric Membership Cooperative, which is not subject to IURC regulation and is exempt from this bill as it currently is written.

My wife and I invested in a 17.5 kWh wind turbine at our rural farm home.  Why?  Because we believe that everyone – including us – has the responsibility to manage and use our world’s resources both prudently and wisely.

During ten months of production during 2009, our turbine generated an average of 1,150 kWh per month.  Of this monthly production we used 785 kWh as it was generated and we sent 365 kWh into the grid.  Because wind generation varies, we drew an average of 390 kWh per month from the grid.  For the 390 kWh we drew from the grid, we paid the full retail charge of approximately $.11 kWh.  For the 365 kWh we sent to the grid, we received the “avoided cost” rate which is less than 1/3 the retail rate.  Incidentally, we have received notice than the 2010 “avoided cost” rate will decrease by more than 25%.  Are any of you expecting your electric bill to decrease this year?  At all – much less by 25%?

In addition to the per kWh cost of electricity, there is a monthly connection fee.  Our REMC had three connection fee categories: residential, agricultural and commercial.  Last year they created a fourth category; a producer category which monthly fee is twice the residential fee and more than 150% the commercial fee.  Although a sub-station of an investor owned utility is within 1/8 mile of our home, unfortunately we do not have a choice of who is our electric utility. 

Therefore, in order to develop a progressive and equitable uniform policy that applies to all owner/producer customers of all Indiana utilities, we ask that you address these issues during your consideration of this pending legislation.

We would be pleased to share our figures with you.  Thank you.

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