Environment Forum

Which U.S. states make the grade on net-metering?

November 24, 2009

Advocates for renewable energy hail net-metering as a key policy so that electricity from solar and wind is generated at the same place where it is consumed.

Supporters refer to it as the policy that lets the electric meter spin backwards. It allows people who own solar power systems, for example, export electricity to the grid and earn credits — at retail prices — on their utility bill.

In a new report called “Freeing the Grid,” advocates with several groups grade each state on their net-metering policies.

Environmental trendsetter California tied for fifth, but Colorado got the top spot.

Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey followed Colorado in the ranking, while California, Oregon and Pennsylvania tied for fifth.

Seven states flunked by default. Those states  — Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas — have no statewide net-metering policy.

The report also looked at how states fare on another key policy: interconnection standards, which determine how a generator on a customer’s site plugs into the electricity grid.

The study named Virginia, Illinois, Oregon, Washington, DC and Maryland as the top winners, respectively, in that realm. California came in at number 12, with a B.

(Photo Credit: Cheryl Ravelo / Reuters)

Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

How is the bankrupt state of California going to pay for environmental changes? Let’s have a referendum and see if the taxpayers want to pay for this latest big government idea.

Posted by buttwheat | Report as abusive
 

thank you for this artile

 

Laura, have you done any more recent follow-ups on the topic of Net Metering and grid interconnection standards?

I’m particularly interested in how South Carolina has progressed. I knew they made some changes after this article was completed, but I can tell you that Net Metering in SC is still a very cumbersome, convoluted, unfair process which, at least in my neck of the woods, offers ZERO opportunity for a private homeowner to make one single dime of profit from investing in renewable energy technology and hardware. The best you can hope for is to net out your own usage and even that isn’t 100% possible due to their additional “facilities charges” they impose when you become interconnected. So, no matter what, you will never make a net profit from your excess kWh generation and you will ALWAYS pay them something above $0.00.

The current, overly-complex infrastructure of South Carolina’s power production network is, by all I can see, NOT currently geared towards promotion of home-based, green power production. They have eliminated any possibility of ever hoping to do anything but “almost” net out your own consumption. And even THAT is only available to those who are wealthy enough to afford the equipment upfront. There is not much hope for someone who wants to start small and increase their kW capacity over time by reinvesting their savings due to high application fees and stringent inspection and permitting requirements. We should have been encouraging and structuring the home-based development of alternative energy DECADES ago. South Carolina is openly squelching it…and I’m sure you can follow the money to figure out who is responsible.

Posted by MrPisky | Report as abusive
 

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