Net metering has been a hot topic over the past year as rooftop solar has continued to gain popularity with customers throughout the country. By allowing customers to sell electricity back to the grid at a set price, net metering has greatly sped up the adoption of rooftop solar.
While utilities have complied with the public interest and set up net metering in 44 states, including Washington D.C., they have repeatedly argued that it can be unfair to people not going solar. As a result, limits have been placed on net metering in most states with caps on the total amount of power capacity that is eligible for net metering. Additionally, net metering pays out different amounts in each state, not necessarily at the retail rate. By lowering the rate drastically enough, utilities can greatly reduce the appeal of net metering.
At Solar Power International this year, Justin Barnes, a senior analyst for Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP, took a quick look at net metering by state to give an idea of what 2015 may hold. Barnes outlined 11 states where key changes to net metering are likely to happen next year. They include, in no particular order: Nevada, Washington, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.Wisconsin may catch people’s eyes, as currently utilities there are pressing hard against net metering.
Barnes also outlined a further 10 states in which changes to net metering are somewhat likely to happen next year. These include Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Hawaii, and Maine. Again, a few of these probably ring a bell — for instance, Colorado, where customers have been pushing back against Xcel. That utility is currently attempting to change net metering policy in the state.