Jefferson City, Missouri [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The Missouri General Assembly’s passage of the Easy Connection Act (ECA) establishes uniform procedures to allow Missourians to connect a small renewable energy system to the electric grid in a quick, safe, and reliable manner.
The ECA also establishes “true net metering,” implemented in 41 states and Washington, DC, which credits an owner of a renewable energy system at a one-to-one rate for electricity “sold” back to the grid.
“The Easy Connection Act makes it easier and more cost effective for a Missourian to install a renewable energy system onto a home or business. This victory is a critical first step to bring Missouri’s renewable energy policy up to the national standard,” says Erin Noble of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.
Representative Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) and Senator Joan Bray (D-St. Louis) sponsored the bill in the Missouri House and Senate respectively. The bills received overwhelming support at the Senate and House Committee Hearings, with Associated Electric Cooperatives being the only entity to testify against the bill. After a series of negotiations, the Cooperatives” concerns, as well as those of the municipal owned utilities (MUNIs) and the Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs), were reflected in a series of minor changes made in the bill, and ultimately the bill passed out of both the House and Senate committees by a unanimous vote.
“What we’re seeing here is a paradigm shift,” says P.J. Wilson, co-founder of Renew Missouri and Vice President of the nonprofit Heartland Renewable Energy Society. “Now, we’re seeing interested parties coming around the table to engage in real dialogue about the nuts and bolts of renewable energy issues. The old way didn’t produce results; the new way does.” Renew Missouri, a collaborative of renewable energy and environmental organizations.