Solar bill could be fading away in the legislature

It would appear a bill aimed at prohibiting utility companies from increasing rates on solar customers might not make a Thursday committee deadline in the Oklahoma legislature.

HB 3865 by Rep. Denise Brewer, a Democrat representing District 71 in Tulsa has yet to get a vote in the House Energy and Natural Resource Committee. Thursday is the deadline for committee votes on measures to be sent to the House.

Her measure would stop utilities from increasing rates or creating a surcharge on solar customers. However, the measure has not advanced in the legislature, despite support from the Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club.

In an appeal this week, Sierra Club leader Johnson Bridgwater encouraged followers to urge Committee chairman Terry O’Donnell to put the measure on the agenda.

“Research shows that utility customers with rooftop solar subsidize their non-rooftop neighbors – not the other way around,” wrote Bridgwater in his note.
He said HB3865 would end confusion around what he called the “sun tax” idea, adding that it will set the record on the true cost of solar in Oklahoma.