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Issues

Net Metering

Missouri co-ops are leaders and supporters of renewable energy. We pioneered wind energy in northwest Missouri and have 750 MW of wind on our system, as well as community solar projects. The Net Metering and Easy Connection Act is a state mandate first enacted in 2007 to promote solar and other renewable energy. Unfortunately, this mandate allows the privileged few who can afford solar panels ("Uncle Rich") to avoid paying their fair share of the co-op's total cost in having them on the co-op's system. The cost difference is picked up by the rest of the vast majority of co-op members who cannot afford their own solar panels ("Grandma Millie"). This unfair subsidy grows as more solar panels are connected to the grid. Worse still, the current law prohibits our locally-elected co-op boards from tailoring specific solutions to deal with this unfair subsidy and that are fair to all.

Most co-op members are like Grandma Millie. The average income of our co-op members is between $25,000 and $50,000 a year. 40% have gross household incomes less than $50,000 per year with 16% making less than $25,000 per year. Only 47% are employed full time, 37% are retired or on a fixed income and 80% are over the age of 45.

Some special interests continue to push proposals to expand the Net Metering Law in ways that will impose more mandates and increase the unfair subsidy. They ignore Grandma Millie. Our member-elected boards should have the flexibility to craft net-metering arrangements that meet the needs and circumstances of their individual co-ops and to set rates that are fair to both Uncle Rich and Grandma Millie.

AMEC strongly supports HB 340 (Rep. Fitzwater) and SB 246 (Sen. Kraus) and is strongly opposed to any attempts to change the current Net Metering Law that does not allow for local elected co-op board flexibility and control.

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