You probably don’t think about it, but the energy grid is a constant in our lives. The reason we don’t think about it is because Iowans have the energy we need, when we need it.

Legislation (HF 669/SF 583) before the General Assembly right now addresses the use of the energy grid by solar panel owners. People who own solar panels don’t pay for their use of the grid. That cost is instead shifted to other consumers who do not own solar panels. I support changing this.

This is not a criticism of those who own solar panels. Rather, this bill fixes the unwanted side effect of an outdated system. I am certain that if someone is willing to make the investment to put up solar panels that they would want to pay their fair share of the costs those panels generate, just as they want to be compensated for the power they generate and push back onto the grid.

It may seem counterintuitive, but solar panel users use the grid much more than regular consumers. Most of us use the energy grid simply to receive power. Solar panel users sell off their excess energy by pushing it onto the grid, but they also need to consistently tap into the grid as a source of additional power when they need it – which is throughout the day, every day.

You can both be a supporter of solar energy and a supporter of this legislation. Tim Allen, Orange City, Iowa

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