Hearing to focus on energy

The meeting concerns the metering of alternative energy.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:59 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Anyone considering installing solar panels or a backyard windmill at home to generate electricity may be interested in attending a public hearing at 5:30 tonight in the City Council chambers.

The Water and Light Department is hosting the hearing, which will deal with “net metering” and “interconnection” requirements.

Residents who install and use alternative forms of electricity are required under state and federal regulations to connect to the city’s power grid, a process that’s called interconnection, Water and Light Director Dan Dasho said. By doing so, they allow the city to bill them only for the city-generated power they use, not the electricity that comes from their own sources. That’s known as net metering.

Missouri already has statutes pertaining to net metering and interconnections, but the Water and Light Department hopes to refine them.

“The state requires two meters: one to measure power flowing in and one to measure power flowing out. We are proposing only one meter,” Dasho said.

Warren Wood, of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, said he plans to testify at the public hearing, covering the practical aspects of net metering and interconnections, such as the type of equipment needed to interconnect and how energy is metered. He’ll also talk about current state statutes and other legal matters.

The purpose of the public hearing is for people to “express their points of view on how this should be done,” Dasho said. The findings will be presented to the council for review.

The council chambers are on the fourth floor of the Daniel Boone City Building, 701 E. Broadway.

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