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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

House of Representatives passes net metering bill

Rep. Gretchen Marie Hau Irizarry

By The Star Staff

The island House of Representatives has approved amendments to the 2007 law regulating the Net Metering Measurement Program that would allow consumers to keep all of the savings from energy put into the power grid, Popular Democratic Party Rep. Gretchen Marie Hau Irizarry (Cidra-Cayey) said Tuesday.

The legislation, approved unanimously during Monday’s session, is now before the Senate.

“Our goal is to do justice to the consumer,” said Hau, referring to the measure that she initially drafted, when she was a member of the Senate, with fellow Sen. William Villafañe Ramos of the New Progressive Party.

“We seek that 100% of the credit resulting from the surplus of unused energy generated by renewable systems goes to the owner of these alternative systems,” Hau said.

Net metering is a system in which solar panels or other renewable energy generators are connected to the power grid and surplus power is transferred onto the grid, allowing customers to offset the cost of power drawn from the main energy utility.

House Bill 1810 calls for the consumer’s energy production to be compensated at 10 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). However, currently the cost of that energy, when sold to consumers by LUMA, is around 25 cents per kWh.

“This measure is necessary, after in recent weeks what is called ‘prosumers’ (citizens who generate energy in solar systems) received letters from LUMA Energy in which they indicated that 25% of the money to which [prosumers] were entitled for their annual production of kilowatt-hours would be set aside for the Department of Education for the payment of energy bills in the schools, distribution is contained in Law 114-2007,” Hau said.

“My primary call is to the senators so that, by virtue of the importance of consumer protection for everyone, they give way to this measure,” she added. “To prosumers and society in general, I urge you to orient yourself on the subject. The production of energy is vital for economic development, and we will continue in this work.”

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