Southeastern groups join states and regulators in defending solar net metering programs

A crew installs rooftop solar panels. Southeast public interest groups join states and regulators in defending rooftop solar net metering programs

Last week, over 50,000 individuals and 600 organizations, states, regulators, and elected officials submitted comments and petitions defending the ability for states to have authority over rooftop solar net metering programs. SELC filed extensive comments on behalf of Southeast public interest organizations, providing a regional perspective and describing how Southeast states and more than 40,000 rooftop solar customers rely on net metering programs each month across the region. 

The comments were filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in response to a sweeping rooftop solar attack submitted in April by a shadowy and suspected utility front group called the New England Ratepayers Association, or NERA. 

Of all the renewable energy sources available today, rooftop solar combines the greatest raw potential with the smallest environmental footprint, making it something utilities should support and encourage—not disincentivize.”

—Lauren Bowen, Leader of SELC’s Solar Power Initiative

Net metering compensates solar customers for any power provided back to the grid from their solar panels, and it is a foundational and long-standing policy for encouraging rooftop solar. NERA requested that the Commission take federal jurisdiction over state and utility net metering programs and gut the compensation rates for any crediting or netting components around electricity production from a solar system.

NERA’s petition would increase utility bills for more than 2 million solar net metering customers across the country, and over 40,000 solar customers in the Southeast (not including Florida, which has an additional 50,000 net metering solar customers).

“Of all the renewable energy sources available today, rooftop solar combines the greatest raw potential with the smallest environmental footprint, making it something utilities should support and encourage—not disincentivize,” says Lauren Bowen, leader of SELC’s Solar Power Initiative.

“Our comments opposing this sweeping attack on rooftop solar are in good company,” adds Bowen. “More than 600 organizations and officials along with more than 50,000 individuals opposed NERA’s attack and defended state jurisdiction over net metering programs.”

SELC filed comments on behalf of Appalachian Voices, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, South Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Upstate Forever.

Attorneys will be closely monitoring the case. Click here to read SELC's comments in full.
Click here and search for Docket No. 20-42 to read the comprehensive list of comments.

More News

Agreement promises investigation of industrial pollution in North Carolina river

In the last week, on behalf of the Haw River Assembly, SELC finalized a memorandum of agreement with the City of Burlington, North Carolina, in w...

Clean water rollbacks enable destruction of 400 acres of wetlands near Okefenokee

One impact of the Trump administration’s cutting of protections under the Clean Water Act is a massive mine’s plans to destroy nearly 400 acres o...

The dirty truth about biogas production and how to take action in NC

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is taking public comments on a draft air quality permit for the first project that relies...

Harvest of horseshoe crabs for blood challenged at SC wildlife refuge

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is failing to follow the law and its obligation to protect one of South Carolina’s most pristine coastal sanct...

South Carolina governor signs Disaster Relief and Resilience Act

Signed into law by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster this week, the programs in the Disaster Relief and Resilience Act are a major step towa...

Court approves agreement for 99% reduction of Chemours’ chemical water pollution

A state court just approved an agreement detailing the next steps under a consent order SELC negotiated to stop Chemours from discharging 99 perc...

More Stories