A Threat to Solar
The value of electricity exported by solar customers is under attack by a shadowy group with unnamed members. In a petition filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in April, the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA), a non-profit group with undisclosed members, and alleged ties to natural gas and utility corporations, has filed a petition asking the FERC to value all solar contributed to the grid at its wholesale cost. The seemingly problematic group is asking the federal government to take control of local regulations for solar owners and their contribution to the grid. Obviously, this is not good news for the solar industry. Help the future of solar by taking action now. The FERC deadline for accepting comments is June 15. Voice your concerns here: https://www.savesolar.org/?sourceid=1036116
What is Net-Metering
When a Rooftop Solar home produces more energy than it needs, it can send that extra electricity back to the utility or to a battery. Electricity sent to the grid is used by other homes and businesses in the area. Typically the utility will issue a credit for the excess energy. Local authorities decide how much to pay for that energy, and they determine the value that is best for grid users and solar contributors alike. The FERC petition, if adopted, would have the effect of dramatically reducing the amount any utility could pay for excess solar energy under net-metering agreements and directly undermines any home solar investment.
What is the New England Ratepayers Association?
This petition is being attacked for its convenient timing during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as for being funded by undisclosed funders, a group with widespread claims of connections to utility companies, and natural gas firms. The NERA is a regional, non-profit group which claims to consist of ratepayers, but may even have ties to the FERC themselves. Renewable advocates are also concerned about how quickly the FERC responded to the petition, although they have made no plans to rule on it yet.
The FERC is still accepting comments until June 15th, and they can be left here: https://www.savesolar.org/?sourceid=1036116.