Legislature approves bill curtailing solar panel incentives

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Legislature approved a bill pushed by the state's investor-owned utilities that would eliminate much of the current financial incentive for installing solar panels.

The bill was approved Monday on a 37-11 vote and now goes to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb for consideration.

Solar panel owners who feed surplus energy to the power grid are currently compensated at a retail rate that helps pay off their investments.

Republican Sen. Brandt Hershman's bill would significantly reduce that rate in five years, although it would protect current solar panel owners for 30 years.

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Solar energy accounts for less than 1 percent of Indiana's power, but utilities worry it could someday cut into profits if its popularity continues to grow.

A Holcomb spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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