In the final weeks of 2014, The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) secured solar net metering for South Carolina. With this expansion, South Carolina became the 44th state to institute net metering. This victory also came on the same day as a significant net metering cap expansion in New York. Despite utility attempts to eliminate rooftop solar across the country, TASC delivered seven net metering expansions in 2014 and zero retractions.
Net metering allows solar customers to get credit on their utility bills at the retail rate for any excess power their rooftop solar installations send back to the grid. Utilities sell this clean energy to neighboring customers for the full retail value.
In South Carolina, Duke and SCE&G agreed to full retail rate net metering and to not seek any solar-specific charges until 2021. Net metering will help deliver the robust solar industry that consumers and businesses want. In a recent South Carolina poll, 73% of respondents across political party lines said they want to see more solar growth. A strong majority of South Carolinians (more than 75%) agree that rooftop solar is an important part of providing choice and competition in electricity.
“Repeated expansions and the addition of a 44th net metering state demonstrate the strength and fairness of solar net metering,” saidBryan Miller, TASC co-chairman and VP of Public Policy for Sunrun. “The public wants more rooftop solar, and they support net metering as the policy that drives solar growth.”
On the same day that the Palmetto state increased the national net metering state roster, New York affirmed net metering’s importance for continued solar growth. The New York Public Service Commission agreed to double the allowable rooftop solar capacity for solar net metering. The solar market has already created 5,000 jobs in New York.
In addition to these recent victories in South Carolina and New York, TASC achieved earlier expansions this year in the form of cap increases and eligibility clarifications in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Vermont. The utilities have failed to achieve any net metering retractions.
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.