The 50 States of Solar: Net Metering Reforms Dominate State Policy Activity in Q3 2019
Raleigh, N.C. – (October 23, 2019) The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q3 2019 edition of The 50 States of Solar. The quarterly series provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on distributed solar policy, with a focus on net metering, distributed solar valuation, community solar, residential fixed charges, residential demand and solar charges, third-party ownership, and utility-led rooftop solar programs.
The report finds that 42 states, plus the District of Columbia took some type of distributed solar policy action during Q3 2019 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions continuing to address net metering policies, residential fixed charge or minimum bill increases, and community solar policies.
A total of 150 distributed solar policy actions were taken during Q3 2019, with the greatest number of actions taken in California, New York, Arizona, Arkansas, New Hampshire, and Louisiana.
Q3 2019 Policy Action on Net Metering, Rate Design, and Solar Ownership
The report identifies three trends in solar policy activity taken in Q3 2019: (1) utilities proposing more modest residential fixed charge increases, (2) states considering credit adders for community solar projects serving low-income customers, and (3) stakeholders reaching agreements on net metering reform in some states but not others.
“While we’re seeing more instances of collaboration and compromise on net metering successor tariffs, these decisions are still proving to be quite contentious in some states,” observed Autumn Proudlove, lead author of the report and Senior Manager of Policy Research at NCCETC. “In general, states taking a value-based approach to credit rates, rather than a strict avoided cost approach, are seeing more agreement among stakeholders.”
The report notes the top five policy developments of Q3 2019 were:
- The Louisiana Public Service Commission approving major net metering reforms;
- Connecticut regulators filing proposed shared solar program rules;
- Xcel Energy requesting changes to the value of solar methodology in Minnesota;
- The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission opening a new proceeding on DERs; and
- Massachusetts regulators rejecting National Grid’s proposed minimum monthly reliability contribution for net metering customers.
“With most state legislatures adjourned for the year, we’ve seen an increase in regulatory activity,” noted Brian Lips, Senior Policy Project Manager at NCCETC. “New proceedings were opened in a number of states, including Kentucky and Maine, to implement legislation passed earlier in the year.”
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The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, sustainable energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information about the Center, visit: http://www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCCleanTech
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