Massachusetts is one of our nation’s great success stories, due in no small part to their first-rate net metering program. This program has enabled thousands of Massachusetts homes, businesses, and public agencies to go solar, save on their energy bills, and invest in a healthier, more sustainable power grid for us all. But now, a cap on the state’s net metering program threatens to prevent new customers from getting fair credit on their utility bills for the valuable clean power they put back on the grid for other to use.
The current cap on net metering is 3% of peak electricity load, and with so many home and business owners jumping on the solar bandwagon in the last few years, the state has just about reached that cap. That means customers who want to go solar may not be able to get fair credit for the energy their systems send to the grid. Worse yet, the state’s current net metering rules contain confusing queuing provisions that leave it unclear how utilities should determine which projects will be eligible for the remaining benefits under the current cap, all of which means a complicated, expensive mess for the Massachusetts solar industry that is preventing clean energy projects from going forward.
Fortunately, state lawmakers are working to raise the net metering cap so that homes and businesses in the Bay State can continue to go solar. Senate Bill 2214 would double the amount of clean energy that qualifies for this important customer right, and clarify the queuing process so customers and solar companies can know up front which projects will qualify for net metering.
There are only a few short weeks left for legislators to pass this important bill before they go home for the summer. If you’re a voter in the Bay State, ask your representative to get SB 2214 across the finish line today!
Bonus info for you solar policy wonks: SB 2214 includes some interesting approaches to net metering: It enables all systems under 10kW to net meter, regardless of the statewide cap. It also exempts solar systems that can prove they never export electricity from counting toward the cap. In our view these are two smart provisions that make solar simpler for homeowners and make sure the only projects counting toward the net metering cap are those that are actually sending energy back to the grid.