Kaysville residents who want to install rooftop solar panels will once again be able to get credit for the power they produce. City leaders have reversed course on their decision to impose a moratorium on their net metering policy.
The Kaysville City Council decided in June to impose a moratorium on net metering for new solar installations. That meant customers would have to pay full price for power they use when they’re not generating it themselves, and they would not get any credit for excess electricity sent back to the grid. Since that decision, Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt says he’s heard from many who argued that the moratorium would discourage customers from making the investment in solar panels.
“Early on, to be honest with you, I think the city council was probably just a little uneducated as to the overall impact that a moratorium would have,” Hiatt says. “As we received some feedback from those in the solar community, we still recognize that some additional study needs to be done, but we want to do it right.”
The council voted unanimously Wednesday to lift the moratorium while a third party reviews the service costs and rates for solar energy. Kaysville is not alone in re-evaluating their policies. Mark Montgomery is director of the power department for the city of Logan. As the demand for solar increases, he says Logan will not be able to continue with net metering.
“We’re going to have to change the policy sometime in the near future. It’s just not economically sustainable for a small city municipality utility like we are,” Montgomery says. “We’d go broke if it continues to go the way it’s going.”
Nevertheless, Montgomery says, power companies are going to have to find a way to adapt because alternative energy sources are only growing. Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt is hoping after this bump in the road, his city might pioneer the way forward and provide an example for the proper way to incentivize solar use.