Update on solar net metering in Indiana

Earlier this year, the Poor Handmaids joined thousands of other Hoosiers opposing SEA309, which curtailed solar net metering for customers of Indiana’s investor-owned monopoly utilities. Here’s the original statement from our Provincial Team (our leadership council of four Poor Handmaids). Some of the worst provisions were removed or edited, but the bill ultimately passed.

Joining hundreds of other citizens to lobby against SB309 in the Senate chamber, with Sr. Loretta and Sr. Mary Baird.

The legislation spurred several “solarize” campaigns throughout the state (including Northern Indiana), where homeowners and businesses used group-purchasing to get solar panels installed before terms changed at the end of the year.

Further good news is that the press and attention generated by this bill accelerated the formation of a constituency that is now paying attention to energy policy in the state, which is still far behind where we need to be. The science tells us that where we need to be, within my lifetime, is zero carbon.

This year, several important press pieces have put these pieces together. Rather than commenting on each of them, I post them here for your review.

Vice news recently did a great piece (and video!) on Franciscan sisters in Oldenburg, IN who are helping deploy solar in southern Indiana. Very inspiring, and I called Sister Claire to arrange a meeting to see if I can replicate her strategy! “A Franciscan nun is leading a fight for solar energy in Indiana.

David Roberts at Vox does a phenomenal job at capturing the scale and breadth of the current energy transition, as well as updating readers on the latest with climate science and policy: “Utilities fighting rooftop solar are only hastening their own doom.”

Lastly, the IndyStar just released four pieces covering the SEA309 saga and some subsequent investigations:

New Indiana solar law could cripple small businesses and customer saving

How Nevada ruined its solar industry – and what it’s doing to fix it

How other Midwestern states treat solar consumers (with video)

Indiana politicians got thousands in gifts while pushing solar policy

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