State regulators say a ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could help Iowans who’ve developed alternative energy sources. Utilities Board Spokesman Rob Hillesland says the ruling involves MidAmerican Energy’s to the Board’s authority to require devices known as “net meters.” “Net meters” allow the alternative energy producers a two-way measure of the electricity that goes in and out of their facility. It measures how much electricity they produce, and how much they consume from regular utilities during their down times. MidAmerican went to court to block the use of the meters, and also sought a ruling against the practice from the federal agency. But, he says federal officials sided with state regulators.Hillesland says the federal ruling bolsters the Iowa Utilities Board case, which is still pending. The case is before the Iowa Supreme Court on an appeal of a district court ruling. Hillesland says there are four wind turbine facilities, two biomass and several small hydroelectric power plants that are affected by the rule.
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