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IOWA (KCAU) – More and more Iowan’s are turning to private solar power for their energy needs.

Renewable Energy Advocate, Paul Rekow says, “It’s good to help save the earth and help take care of gods green earth.”

It’s also good for the green in your wallet. While it’s a big initial investment, solar energy can pay for itself in the long run.

Dolf Ivener, Hog Power Energy Owner (installs solar power panels) says, “It allows you to make energy at your own home so you don’t have to use as much infrastructure.”

But now, a new bill could threaten the pay back of those investments. Allowing utility companies to charge solar users a new fee for the upkeep of the electrical grid. Averaging out to 328 dollars a year for the average consumer.

Tina Hoffman, a Midamerican Energy spokesperson says, “Solar generators would still be paid the retail rate to off set their bills, there just would be this charge that would be part of paying for the grid.”

Opponants say the new fee could put Iowa’s solar industry out of business, affecting more than 800 workers.

Ivener says, “It will kill it and that’s the object. They want to keep the pie for themselves and it will basically destroy the ability for me to go out and sell a system.”

But Midamerican says right now, non-solar users are paying to use their grid, so it’s only fair that solar energy users do to.

Hoffman says, “Other costumers who have chosen not to have solar energy or who can’t afford it because they’re on a fixed income or low income, those folks are paying for the up keep of the grid that solar owners are not.”

But Ivner says he already pays a fee to MidAmerican. No matter how much energy his solar system produces.

Ivener says, “I have my utility bill, and right now for a solar system I still pay an $8.50 fee.”
 

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