Legislative Alert – Contact Senate Commerce Committee ASAP!
Urget Action Needed!
As many of you know, Alliant Energy, MidAmerican Energy, the rural electric coop’s and municipal utilities unveiled bills at the Iowa Capitol last week that would allow them to charge solar customers a higher fee without any oversight. Current law requires these state-sanctioned monopolies to go to the Iowa Utilities Board, which reviews requests for rate increases or requests to charge different customers different rates, or in the case of REC’s and municipal utilities prohibits the practice entirely.
Thank you to the solar industry representatives and advocates that have attended the subcommittee meetings on Senate Study Bill 3093 and House Study Bill 595. Our work is not done as the bills have advanced to the full commerce committees of both chambers.
The senate bill is on the agenda for the Commerce committee meeting tomorrow afternoon, so we need to expand outreach to the full committee and contact them right away about the harmful impacts of the proposed legislation.
Legislators place priority on communication from their constituents, so please recruit your colleagues and other solar advocates that live in these districts to reach out to their legislators too.
Here are the names and email addresses of those legislators:
Sen. Michael Breitbach
Sen. Jake Chapman
Sen. Matt McCoy
Sen. Chaz Allen
Sen. Rick Bertrand
Sen. Nate Boulton
Sen. Randy Feenstra
Sen. Dennis Guth
Sen. Craig Johnson
Sen. Jim Lykam
Sen. Liz Mathis
Sen. Janet Petersen
Sen. Amy Sinclair
Sen. Brad Zaun
Sen. Dan Zumbach
Below is a sample email for your use. Please include some information about you, your business or your personal solar installation, and how you would be affected by the bill.
If you have questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact ISETA board members Tim Dwight or Tyler Olson.
SAMPLE EMAIL TEXT:
[Subject Line: Vote No on SSB 3093/HSB 595]
Dear [Senator or Representative],
Please vote no on SSB 3093/HSB 595. The bill is anti-free market, anti-consumer choice, and anti-solar.
Deregulation Without Competition
SSB 3093/HSB 595 deregulate electricity providers while at the same time ensuring they have no competition. As you know, electricity providers in Iowa enjoy state-mandated monopoly status. The trade-off is that their decisions to increase rates or charge particular customers more than others are subject to review by the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) or anti-discrimination language in the Iowa Code. The bill gives them the ability to unilaterally raise rates on any class of customers they choose with no state oversight or competitive pressure.
SSB 3093/HSB 595 are anti-consumer choice. Iowans have no choice in electricity provider. The legislation removes Iowans’ ability to “grow their own” energy by generating it themselves through solar or other renewable sources. The bills would prohibit Iowans’ ability to choose that kind of self-reliance.
The solar industry provides hundreds of good-paying jobs for Iowans and continues to grow. The industry has generated capital investment of more than $166,000,000 the last six years spread through all 99 counties. Those jobs and capital investments would be eliminated by SSB 3093/HSB 595.
Current law provides electricity providers a process to request the ability to charge solar or any other customer more than others with IUB approval. SSB 3093/HSB 595 removes monopoly electricity providers’ regulatory oversight but leaves no competitors to keep rates down or give consumers any choice.
Please vote no on SSB 3093/HSB 595.
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