For months the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) has pushed off a vote on whether to maintain or dismantle net metering, one of the most important programs for empowering customer investment in rooftop solar. Yesterday, June 26th, the vote finally happened. And we won!
In a 3-2 vote, the PSC opposed a hostile motion brought forward by Commissioner Holloway to replace retail-to-retail net metering credit for a much lower avoided cost credit. His motion flew in the face of net metering’s fundamental point – which is to give solar customers fair credit for the valuable power they occasionally deliver to the grid for their neighbors to use.
Commissioner Holloway led the charge on the motion, and from his rhetoric it was hard to tell if he was talking about solar energy or the plague. Fortunately several other Commissioners were more concerned about facts, and reason won the day.
Commissioners Angelle, Boissiere, Campbell saved net metering. Commissioner Boissiere in particular championed solar energy for all Louisianans, and raised a motion to require a more thorough analysis of the utilities claims about the cost of net metering. Sadly that motion also failed by a vote of 3-2. Minutes from the meeting should be posted soon for those who want more details.
Big props to the Alliance for Affordable Energy and Rabago Consulting for testifying at the PSC meeting, and leading the good fight on behalf of all current and future solar energy users in Louisiana.
However, the conversation is certainly not over. The current net metering cap is set at 0.5% of each utility’s retail peak load, and any utility that reaches the cap can stop accepting net metering applications. There is more work to be done to expand access to net metering, and we’ll be sure to let you know more as the conversation continues.