“This is one of those things where I think we need to get ahead of the problem and come up with the solution,” said Bryce Freeman, an adminstrator at the Wyoming Office of Consumer Advocate. “I think the Public Service Commission — since this is such a complicated area — is the right place to do it.”
Over 300,000 Wyoming residents receive power from either a rate-regulated utility or cooperative in the state. About 1,160 customers have net metering installations.
Though unable to confirm these exact numbers, Chairman Chris Petrie of the Public Service Commission said they were in the ballpark and the market penetration of net metering customers is minimal.
Under the bill, any new regulatory system installed by the Public Service Commission would have only applied to customers who opted into a net metering system after July 1, 2022. Current net metering customers would have been able to stay under their system for the next decade.
Nonetheless, opponents of the bill have long worried eliminating the net metering system would ultimately disincentivize residents from investing in solar and wind power, kill small businesses installing renewable energy on homes, or deter companies from investing in Wyoming.
Over 50 individuals signed up to testify on Friday before the House committee. Zwonitzer, chairman of the committee, closed public testimony before 14 of those individuals had an opportunity to speak, due to time constraints.