|HB643, Sponsored by Rep. Kassmier (R-Fort Benton) would undermine rooftop solar in Montana by reducing the rate that future net-metered solar customers would be credited for the electricity they generate to offset their energy bills.|
The Public Service Commission (the state agency that exists to balance the interests of Montana rate payers and the investor owned utility) ruled unanimously in 2019 that there was insufficient data to support reducing the rate that net-metered customers are credited. This bill would try to circumvent that decision, as well as take authority and oversight away from the Public Service Commission. In an attempt to mask the fact that this bill is an attack on solar, HB643 would increase the net metering generation cap from 50kW to 100kW once the devalued rate class has been established, which is a very minor adjustment that is still significantly lower than the net metering cap in the region.
HB 643 would severely limit future families, businesses, schools, libraries, and nonprofit organizations from investing in renewable energy, Montana jobs, and energy savings.
The bottom line is that Montanans want energy independence and data-driven decision making from their elected officials. This bill delivers neither, and we're asking you to take the time to contact your Representative and ask them to oppose HB 643.