House panel approves bill to reduce solar power incentive

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A House panel has approved a bill that would eliminate much of the financial incentive for installing solar panels in Indiana.

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

The bill was approved Wednesday on an 8-to-5 vote and now goes to the House for consideration. It’s already been approved by the Senate.

Solar panel owners who feed surplus energy to the power grid now are 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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