The 50 States of Solar: 42 States and D.C. Took Action on Distributed Solar Policy and Rate Design During Q2 2018
Raleigh, N.C. – (July 25, 2018) The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q2 2018 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 and the District of Columbia took some type of distributed solar policy action during Q2 2018 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions relating to residential fixed charge or minimum bill increases, net metering policies and community solar policies.
A total of 148 distributed solar policy actions were taken during Q2 2018, with the greatest number of actions taken in California, Arizona, New York, Virginia and Massachusetts.
Q2 2018 Policy Action on Net Metering, Rate Design, and Solar Ownership
The report identifies three trends in solar policy activity taken in Q2 2018: (1) states working to increase low-income customer participation in community solar programs, (2) state legislatures considering bills effectively undoing or amending regulatory decisions, and (3) regulators approving residential fixed charge reductions. Regulators in three states approved residential fixed charge decreases in Q2 2018, a notable departure from previous quarters that represents an area to watch.
“Many of the solar policy and rate design decisions being made continue to be quite controversial,” noted Autumn Proudlove, lead author of the report and Senior Manager of Policy Research at NCCETC. “We’re finding that a number of state legislatures are taking up these issues and considering changes that would effectively reverse or significantly amend recent decisions made by state regulators.”
The report notes the top five policy developments of Q2 2018 were:
- Connecticut becoming the latest state to move away from net metering;
- The New Jersey legislature adopting a statewide community solar policy;
- The Florida Public Service Commission opening the door to residential solar leasing;
- Idaho regulators approving Idaho Power’s request to separate distributed generation customers into a unique class; and
- Colorado, Connecticut, and New York regulators approving residential fixed charge reductions.
“As the conversation matures and some states reach agreement on broad solar policies, we’re seeing states fine tune their established frameworks to seek more inclusion,” said Brian Lips, Senior Policy Project Manager at NCCETC. “A number of states are examining ways to improve solar access for low-income customers, particularly through community solar programs.”
About the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center
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 N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, visit: http://www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCCleanTech
Media Contact: Shannon Helm, NCCETC, firstname.lastname@example.org