FERC dismisses petition to end local control of solar policies

Solar customers, state regulators across the country asked FERC to maintain states rights

Washington, DC — Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dismissed a petition to end states’ authority over local solar policies. The petition was filed in April 2020 by the New England Ratepayers Association, a secretive group with strong ties to monopoly utilities, in order to take away states’ ability to administer solar net metering.

“Commissioners made the right decision,” said Anya Schoolman, Solar United Neighbors Executive Director. “Solar owners are ready to get back to saving money, creating local jobs, and increasing local resiliency by producing our own electricity.”

In June, clean energy advocates submitted over 50,000 comments from solar owners, workers and supporters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia opposing the petition. They were joined by bipartisan public utility commissions, governors, state attorneys general and other public officials who overwhelmingly opposed the petition.

“NERA’s petition to attack rooftop solar investments and gut energy savings during a health and financial crisis was ill-conceived,” said Adam Browning, Executive Director of Vote Solar. “Solar provides massive amounts of clean energy, lowers system costs and utility bills, and puts America to work making our energy system more resilient. We need more, not less solar, and FERC did the right thing. We will remain vigilant in protecting solar rights and clean energy savings at every level of government.”

Net metering ensures solar owners receive fair credit for the solar energy they produce and send to the grid.  There are approximately 2.2 million residential net metering customers and 100,000 net metering businesses across the country. Together, they have invested billions of dollars in solar premised on net metering programs and continued state control.

In addition to the return-on-investment of solar owners, all grid participants are at risk of higher electricity bills if these programs disappear. Without continued investment in local solar there will be fewer local clean energy jobs, increased reliability issues and grid maintenance costs and a less resilient system that is more vulnerable to extreme weather events.

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