Toolkit: Protecting Solar Prosperity with Net Metering

ALERT: The REAL Coalition, an apparent utility backed shadow group, is fighting dirty by dumping tons of dark money into the ad market by running a huge propaganda campaign on all fronts— TV, social media & letter writing.This is designed to create animosity between solar and non-solar owners and divide Iowans against each other.  DON’T BE FOOLED. Non-solar owners are NOT paying for solar owner costs.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: contact your legislators, ensure everyone you know does the same, defeat these bills, and show the utilities we stand united for locally-owned solar energy jobs, prosperity, and stewardship!

Net Energy Metering (NEM, also known simply as net metering) is the single most important policy enabling every Iowa home, farm, business, and institution to own solar on fair terms.

House File 669 and Senate File 583 are bills introduced in the 2019 Iowa legislature to overturn this critical policy, after, in 2017 the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) upheld net metering as a fair shake for ALL Iowans and utilities.

Oppose the Sunshine Tax

This legislation is a blatant attempt by MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy to monopolize the sun, place a “sunshine tax” on Iowan’s that attempt to own their energy production, and stomp out the steadily growing and truly massive “energy prosperity” opportunity of job and wealth creation for every Iowa community and county.
We encourage everyone to contact their legislator and ask them for a clear statement in opposition to these bills that represent a clear attack on net metering and solar energy prosperity. 

Talking Points and Other Resources

Winneshiek Energy District has developed a detailed set of “15 Solar Prosperity and Net Metering Talking Points“.

A recent op-ed on Iowa’s Solar Energy Prosperity Opportunity in the March issue of the Iowa Association of Counties magazine (pp 20-21) also covers this issue.

The Iowa Environmental Council’s fact sheet page also includes a wealth of information. Scroll down to “solar fact sheets” on that page, and most relevant items are the Sunshine Tax Talking Points and the Solar Energy Fact Sheet.

For a quicker approach, use this  “Solar Prosperity Letter Template” you are free to use, revise, and share.
Or copy this template letter content here:

Letter Template - Feel Free to copy & customize

Dear Legislator <fill in name>,
As your constituent, I am writing to ask that you oppose House File 669 and Senate File 583. This monopoly utility-backed bill is intended to ruin the economics of customer-owned solar installations and hurts our communityThe truth is when we spend less on energy we have more to spend in our local community. 
In (name your area), homeowners, businesses and farmers have made private investments in solar which lower their energy costs with clean energy. HF 669 and SF 583 would set needlessly high fees and fixed charges on local residents wanting to bring new solar online.
The monopoly utilities, which are guaranteed a profit, are trying to convince lawmakers that customer-generated energy is a burden. Why should we take their word for it instead of first looking at the actual costs and benefits? Studies in other states, like Minnesota, have shown local customer generated solar more than pays for the infrastructure necessary to support it with the high-value electricity it provides to the grid. 
HSB 669 and SF 583 would stop Iowa’s solar growth in its tracks and threaten the 800+ solar jobs across state and in your district.
This proposal is anti-consumer choice and backwards looking. In states that have made similar moves, there has been a serious decline in the number of new solar installations. Less solar installations means less solar jobs means less local clean energy prosperity. 
Please protect the ability of your constituents to control their operating costs. Iowa’s clean energy future involves everyone, not just monopoly utilities. Fair access to clean and local energy is building community in your district!
Bottom Line Please Do Something to Save Our Local Solar Prosperity!