It was a huge victory for the solar community yesterday as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected a petition from the New England Rate Payers Association to strip solar owners' rights. Solar United Neighbors and Vote Solar submitted over 20,000 letters to federal regulators on the June 15th deadline. Thanks to you, our voice was heard!
The April filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) threatened to end utilities' practice of fairly compensating solar owners for their excess energy, but FERC dismissed the petition, saying that net metering should remain in states' control.
If FERC had granted the petition, it would have assumed jurisdiction over net metering, overturning a 40-year precedent of states' control. The petition suggested that excess energy produced by a solar owner should be priced at a utility's avoided cost, i.e. wholesale. This would have caused current solar owners' utility bills to skyrocket, effectively killing the solar industry and shackling our most effective tool to address climate change.
The petition came from a shady group with the innocuous name New England Ratepayers Association, which appears to be comprised of a group of fossil fuel interests. Thankfully, the solar industry struck back and we won.
We can't thank you all enough for submitting comments and speaking up to fight this ill-conceived petition. In total, the effort put forth through the solar community helped show opposition to the NERA petition from:
56,605 individual solar supporters in every state across the U.S.
74 Governors, Attorneys General, and state officials.
35 Members of Congress.
30 Public Utility Commissions.
9 associations of state regulators and public electricity providers.
When solar is threatened, the solar community has a strong voice and a lot of influence. We know many of you took action on our June 11 blog post - thanks, Ipsun Tribe, for always being there to speak up for solar!
Questions or thoughts?