To the editor:

I would urge Madison area residents to contact their state representatives to ask them to vote NO on Senate Bill 309. Solar energy sector jobs have now surpassed the number of jobs in the oil and gas sector across the U.S.  However, the Indiana Legislature is preparing to take a major step backwards with this bill that would create significant roadblocks to those homes, businesses, schools, and others who are seeking to install solar panels and small wind turbines.  This bill would seriously hamper our freedom to choose alternate sources of energy.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has already set policy for rooftop solar and other on-site generation that is fair and based on the best recommendations of unbiased experts. The legislature should reject Senate Bill 309, because it will give utilities control over solar power in Indiana.

As it is now written Senate Bill 309 would also arbitrarily fix prices for the home-grown energy Hoosiers generate. With utilities setting the price for their only competition, Indiana’s growing solar companies will go out of business or leave our state…and gone with them, vital jobs needed in our state.  I understand that there are some amendments that may be added to the bill, but none being considered would substantially reverse the damage that this bill will do.

Home-grown, clean solar power helps reduce energy demand, so the power company doesn’t need to generate as much power -- relieving the burden on all of us to purchase expensive electricity at peak times.

I am calling on everyone to support energy freedom and fairness and ask their State Representative to vote NO on Senate Bill 309.

Richard Hill