From the Indianapolis Star, “More Hoosiers reap benefits of generating their own electricity“:
[M]ore and more people around Indiana are starting to generate their own electricity, motivated by environmental concerns and feelings of energy independence.
The arrangement is known as “net metering,” allowing customers to offset part of their energy costs and feed the excess back to the utility for credit.
From 2010 to 2011, the number of Indiana customers taking part in net metering rose from 199 to 298 — a 50 percent increase, according to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
Sounds exciting, right? Okay, granted that in a state with about 2.6 million eligible retail electric customers, a move from 0.7 one-hundredths of one percent up to 1.2 one-hundredths of one percent of customers is not exactly a big deal.
The “big” jump in participation came mostly because the state allowed commercial and industrial customers to participate along with residential customers.
But at least a few customers are getting a great deal, right?
The system was expensive, about $30,000, or about as much as a new car. And so far, the savings are relatively modest, a few hundred dollars a year. So even with federal tax credits and a small grant from IPL, the system will take decades to pay for itself.
Decades to pay for itself, for a system with a projected lifespan of maybe two and a half or three decades tops.