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Solar energy users in Missouri will be able to file for rebates - KOAM TV 7

Solar energy users in Missouri will be able to file for rebates from the Empire District Electric Company

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Solar energy collects the sun's power to make it usable. Some say it is sustainable and also economical.

"Very hard to find an investment where you get a 30 percent federal income tax credit immediately, so that's a huge thing," said Kevin Vanwey, a sales representative of Missouri Sun Solar. "And the return on investment, because it is an investment, is pretty high."

Vanwey is excited that his customers may now receive additional returns.

The Missouri Supreme Court stated that Empire District Electric Company will have to offer solar rebates to customers.  

"That could be tens of thousands of dollars worth off of their costs to go solar, and obviously if it's less expensive to go solar those savings in the long run pile up even quicker," said Vanwey.

The decision stems from an appeal from Renew Missouri and Missouri coalition for the Environment."

Empire has been exempt from offering rebates since May 2008. In November of that year Proposition C was passed,  a statewide ballot initiative that had implications toward many things in the solar world, including setting aside funds for rebates.

"I actually have solar on the roof of one of my houses," said Missouri Representative Bill White during a phone conversation. "I use that electricity. In the house, it's electricity that I don't have to buy from Empire District and if I'm not using all that power, it goes down the line and Empire buys it back."

The Empire District Electric Company released this statement regarding the decision:

"The Empire District Electric Company is still reviewing the Missouri Supreme Court's decision that was issued on February 10, 2015, and has not yet determined its next steps.  It is EDE's understanding that the decision will not be final for at least 15 days.  Thereafter, the matter may return to the Missouri public service commission for further action related to the underlying PSC case."

The ruling had a 5 to 2 decision. 

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