News | June 23, 2020

Southeastern groups join states and regulators in defending 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.