The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) sided with CUB and state solar advocates in a Dec. 2 ruling, asserting that Ameren’s calculations ended retail-rate net metering for solar customers too soon. Ameren will now return to retail-rate net metering and provide retroactive credits to any customers who might have been affected by the cutoff.
Ameren electric customers who install solar panels on their property have the opportunity to sell excess power they produce back to their utility in a process called net metering. Up until now, that has led to credits equal to the amount of that excess power on both the delivery and supply sides of those customers’ electric bills.
Under the Future Energy Jobs Act, once the load of Ameren’s net metering customers equals 5 percent of the total demand, the net metering benefit on the delivery side of bills ends for new customers.
Earlier this year, Ameren informed the ICC that it hit this 5 percent mark and would end the delivery net metering credit for new residential solar customers as of Oct. 3. However, solar installers and consumer and environmental advocates said that Ameren was incorrectly calculating the 5 percent threshold and that there was still time until the utility hit that limit. The commission’s decision agreed with CUB and other advocates. Under the ruling, Ameren will not likely reach the 5 percent cap until 2022.