Lawsuit Filed Against Public Service Commission Over Net Metering Rule

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St. Louis-based Great Rivers Environmental Law Center has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Renew Missouri against the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC), alleging that the PSC's new rule requiring customers of electric utilities to purchase insurance before they can feed back excess energy to the utilities is illegal. The suit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cole County, Mo.

In 2007, the General Assembly passed the Easy Connection Act, requiring utilities to give credit on their bills for excess energy generated by customers using solar or wind power to make their own electricity. There was no requirement in the law that the customers purchase insurance before the utilities would take back the electricity.

In October, the PSC issued an order requiring customers who produce 10 kW or less of energy to carry $100,000 worth of insurance. Customers who generate more than 10 kW of energy will be required to carry $1 million worth of liability insurance under the new rule.

Renew Missouri, the citizens' group that worked to get the Easy Connection Act passed, believes it will be difficult or impossible for homeowners and businesses to get this kind of insurance.

‘The PSC's rule will discourage people from producing their own electricity,’ says Henry Robertson, attorney at Great Rivers Environmental Law Center. ‘The Easy Connection Act is supposed to make it easy to do that. This rule negates the spirit and the letter of the law.’

SOURCE: Great Rivers Environmental Law Center

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