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Net Metering Policy Adopted; Council Recognizes Lovan

By Sue Curry Jones

Concluding ten years of service as representative for the west ward, councilwoman Judy Lovan fulfilled her last duty as an elected official Tuesday evening.

During the meeting, Lovan was recognized by City Clerk Marilyn Alms who presented the outgoing councilwoman with a plaque noting five terms of service to residents of the community and the City of Ava.

Lovan was first elected to council in 2002.

The City of Ava adopted a net metering policy in an effort to comply with a Missouri state law enacted in June 2007.

The system of net metering ac­cepted on Tuesday provides a proto­col for the use of renewable energy systems by city residents, and sets guidelines for small consumers such as home owners, to generate their own power.

According to the Department of Energy, by using net metering, consumers can install small, grid-connected renewable energy systems that can reduce home electric­ity bills.  This type of re­newable energy system has been adopted and made available in 42 states.

Under net metering, electricity produced from the homeowner’s renewable energy system can also flow into the utility grid thereby spinning the existing meter backwards. If the consumer system generates more electricity than is needed, net metering allows the ex­cess energy flow to be credited to the consumer’s account.

The systems are used primarily to offset part of a customer’s own elec­tricity requirements, as long as the system is located on the premises owned, operated, leased or controlled by the customer.

For a homeowner to implement net metering, additional metering equipment must be installed at their location, as the city’s existing meter is not capable of measuring the net amount of electricity produced by the resident’s solar panels or wind turbines.

This additional meter, which is installed at the homeowner’s ex­pense, records the unused en­ergy output from the residential source, and the customer receives a credit on their next bill, at a rate equivalent to the city’s utility rate.

The concept of net metering was enacted in Missouri through Senate Bill 54, which requires all electric utilities – investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and electric cooperatives – to offer net metering to customers with systems up to 100 kilowatts (kW) in capacity.  According to the bill, the electricity may be generated through wind energy, solar-thermal energy, hy­droelectric energy, photovoltaics (PV), fuel cells using hydrogen, and other sources of energy certified as renewable by the Missouri Depart­ment of Natural Resources.

Missouri’s law went into effect January 2008; however, administra­tive rules from the Public Service Com­mission (PSC), regulating the utilities, did not become effective until February 2009.

The city ordinance passed by council Tuesday evening established a policy and guidelines for resi­dents to follow for implementing a net metering system.  The application fee for net metering was set at $75, and the expense of installing an additional meter was estimated to cost around  $150 – $250.

Jeff Coffer, supervisor of the city water department, expressed thanks to council members for their help in making improvements to the city maintenance building.  Coffer noted construction work was performed by city employees under the assistance and advice of David Stout, and the city crew is quite pleased with the structure.

Coffer extended an invitation to board members to drop in for a visit.

On behalf of the American Legion, Danny Letsinger advised city officials and council members in 2013 the Legion would like to place larger flags along the rock wall at Ava Cemetery during the holidays.

Letsinger said holiday tradition has always called for the Legion to place smaller flags on the graves of veter­ans, however, on occasion there has been questions about placement. In an effort to alleviate the problem, the Legion plans to place larger flags along the wall next year.

The Municipal Court Docket was approved as presented.

Council members present were Ric Engelhardt, Burrely Loftin, Judy Lovan and Bill Long.

City council will reconvene on Tuesday, April 10, 5:00 p.m. at Ava City Hall.