Oklahoma House approves solar power surcharge

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill earlier this week that may add extra charges to utility customers who want to install rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines. 

The House passed Senate Bill 1456 in a 83-5 vote. The Senate approved the bill in March.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) would create a separate customer class and monthly surcharge for distributed generation from rooftop solar or small wind turbines, according to The Oklahoman.

Customers who previously installed those systems would not be affected. The bill would only apply to utilities regulated by the OCC.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and Public Service Co. of Oklahoma representatives said the surcharge is needed to recover infrastructure costs and send excess electricity safely from distributed generation back to the grid.

The bill now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin for her approval.

If approved, new tariffs for distributed generation would start by the end of 2015.

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