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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Easy Connection Act

From the RENEW MO website at http://www.renewmo.org/easyconnectionact.html

"The Easy Connection Act establishes uniform procedures to allow Missourians to connect a small renewable energy system to the electric grid in a quick, safe, and reliable manner. The Easy Connection Act makes it easier and more cost effective for a Missourian to install a renewable energy system onto a home or business. This victory is a critical first step to bring Missouri's renewable energy policy up to the national standard.

ECA enables Missourians to utilize renewable energy sources more effectively in two ways:

1) Simple Interconnection Simple interconnection procedures that standardize interconnection for all Missourians are necessary to promote the use of renewable energy in Missouri. ECA makes it easier and more cost-effective for Missourians to connect small renewable energy systems to the grid.

2) True Net Metering (One-for-One Electricity Measurement) The ECA establishes "true net metering", which credits an owner of a renewable energy system at a one-to-one rate for electricity "sold" back to the grid. True net metering is used in 41 states and Washington D.C.

The Easy Connection Act signed into law on June 25, 2007:Representative Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) and Senator Joan Bray (D-St. Louis) sponsored the bill in the Missouri House and Senate respectively. The Easy Connection Act passed as an amendment to the "Green Power Initiative Bill" in the House on May 8, by a vote of 146-6, and passed the Senate on May 14 by a vote of 34-0. Governor Blunt signed the bill into law on June 25, 2007.

Before ECA:The original procedures for connecting small renewable energy systems to the electric grid in Missouri were time consuming, unclear, and costly. As a result, many Missourians chose not to interconnect or connect illegally to avoid the hassle. Additionally, older Missouri law contained a cumbersome and inequitable "dual metering" policy. Under previous rules, if a renewable electricity system produced more energy than was used by the household or business, the excess energy was sent back to the grid and was "bought" back at just 20% of the retail rate."

You can also contact RENEW MO for more information on qualified installers and cost estimates of renewable energy systems.

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