Solar power law changes at the start of the new year

Solar power law changes at the start of the new year

DALE, IN (WFIE) - If you're trying to go green and save on your home energy bills, you're running out of time.

A new law in Indiana goes into effect January first, cutting some benefits for solar power energy users.

Earlier this year, Governor Eric Holcomb signed Senate Bill 309. It changes the way utilities are required to credit for power generated from things like solar panels on your home.

Now, some are rushing to get those solar panels installed before the new year

"So that's what has created a big boom cycle this year," says Whole Sun Designs Founder, Ryan Zaricki.

Ryan Zaricki with Whole Sun Designs says customers who install solar panels before December 31st can enjoy 30 years of "banking" extra energy.

The law change means future customers will only get 15 years of one-to-one banking.

Zaricki is not looking forward to the change.

"We've actually doubled. Doubled our revenue. Doubled our number of systems being installed doubled our total capacity of solar that we've installed. And next year I expect a bust cycle which is really unfortunate," says Zaricki.

Homeowner Emily Weyer is getting in just under the wire.

Emily Weyer, homeowner: "I think more than  anything we're just very excited about the timing of it. We're one of the last few to get the installation before the end of the year."

The Weyer's bought their house a few years ago and were planning to wait another 5 years to install solar panels.

"We realized that the law was changing this year so it was kind of a big push, we wanted to get it done this year after we heard that change in the law," says Weyer.

So what happens when the Weyer's 30 years are up?

Instead of enjoying an even exchange, the Weyer's will have to sell extra energy they generate to the power company for a fraction of what they'd have to pay if they ever needed to buy it back.

For anybody getting solar panels after the new year, that one-to-one exchange would go away 15 year sooner.

Zaricki says, he's glad he was able to help at least some customers capture those savings for longer.

"The nice thing with the boom that happened this year are there are solar panels everywhere. There are solar panels in every neighborhood these days. It's fun to drive down the road and say, we did one here, we did one there and I know some over here," says Zaricki.

For anyone who's thinking about solar panels but didn't make it by the December 31st cutoff, Ryan says the system will still pay for itself. It's not as lucrative as it would have been under the current law.

Copyright 2017 WFIE. All rights reserved.