American families, schools, businesses and others have the right to generate their own power from the sun. In order to protect that right, we work to protect consumers from unfair fees and rate structures. More and more, utilities around the country are imposing increased fixed fees and demand charges on solar customers. We also work to ensure that consumers receive full credit for their valuable solar power investment through compensation mechanisms like net metering.
Solar customers don’t always consume all the power they generate, so net metering (NEM) gives those customers full credit on their utility bills for the excess clean power they contribute to the grid. That excess generation is sent to neighbors and replaces the fossil fuel generation that the utility would otherwise produce. It’s a win-win for solar customers, their neighbors, and the environment.
This simple crediting arrangement is one of the most important state policies for enabling Americans to generate their own power from the sun. See IREC's Net Metering Model Rules for best practices in state policy design (PDF). And learn more about our active campaigns to advance or defend net metering policy around the country at www.oursolarrights.org.
Why do we need to defend this simple and fair billing mechanism? Utilities around the country are fighting rooftop solar tooth-and-nail because Americans who generate their own power disrupt utilities old way of doing business. Undermining the economics of rooftop solar - by taking away or reducing fair compensation – is one way utilities are fighting back.
The way that utility rates are structured has a tremendous impact on the pay-back of a customer' solar energy system. While rate design is complex, as a general rule, Time-of-Use rates and other structures that closely match customer charges with the true cost to the utility of delivering any given kwh help improve the economics of solar. High fixed charges that remain steady regardless of how much electricity the customer consumes discourage investment in solar and other energy saving measures. Rate design is closely related to net metering. Read our 6 guiding policies of good rate design here.
Best practices in state net metering policies and interconnection procedures.
Rights Rooftop solar is an innovative way for families, schools and businesses to take charge of their power generation and utility bills like never before.
In the news
Bridge: Michigan residents, businesses must fight for solar energy rights by Becky Stanfield and John Freeman
Boston Business Journal: Solar is Powering Climate Progress and Jobs in Boston by Sean Garren
Fortnightly: Arizona's Value of Solar Was a Turning Point for DER by Briana Kobor
Solar Industry Magazine: Rate Reform Poses Both Challenges and Opportunities by Ed Smeloff