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Idaho utilities commission rejects solar panel settlement

December 25, 2019 GMT

KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Public Utilities Commission rejected a proposed settlement for home and small business solar panels, officials said.

The agreement would have changed how Idaho Power Co. customers are credited for the solar power they produce and put into the grid, The Idaho Mountain Express reported Tuesday.

The proposed agreement reached in October by Idaho Power, utilities commission staff and seven other entities involved net metering, officials said.

Net metering records the amount of power produced by a home power producer relative to the amount the home consumes, officials said.

The commission’s Dec. 20 order rejected the settlement agreement, finding the record created from the settlement proceedings was insufficient to support the proposal.

The public was not adequately notified the agreement might result in significant changes to Idaho Power’s net metering program, the commission said.

The utilities commission previously said in a May 2018 order that the current payment method causes home power producers to underpay their share of Idaho Power’s fixed costs and the inequity will likely increase as more customers install solar power.