12/28/2020 - U.S Expert Witness News: Expert Witness Contests Solar Utility Costs in Indiana

An expert witness has stated fair compensation for rooftop solar power in southern Indiana would infact be 13¢/kWh, and not 3¢/kWh proposed by a utility. Utility bills would be reduced by $540 a year.

Expert Edward Rutter's logic is simple. To figure the fair compensation for users providing solar power to the grid, the calculation should start with the average price that customers pay for power.Then take off the fair share of the cost of the distribution grid used to send the solar power.

Rutter calculated the resulting value is 13¢/kWh for residential solar generation in the southern Indiana region served by Vectren. This is in stark contrast to the 3¢/kWh that Vectren proposes to pay.

Edward Rutter is an experienced expert witness and former accountant. He has been employed as Chief technical advisor with the Indiana state agency that represents ratepayer interests.

Further to Rutter's evidence he cited produced a paper produced by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory which found that 'high levels of distributed solar power in Indiana would reduce utility costs statewide'.

The savings are mostly gnerated from reduced generation costs. The values do not include the cost to solar customers of a installation of equipment. The report emphasizes the value provided by solar customers to all customers in the state.

Solar generators would receive a fair price for their solar power, Rutter testified, while all other customers would receive reduced bills.

Other advocacy groups contesting Vectren’s proposed 3¢/kWh compensation for distributed solar power are Environmental Law and Policy Center and Citizens Action Coalition Vote Solar, Solar United Neighbors, and Solarize Indiana.