U.S. states progress with net metering and interconnection policies


New York, NY, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — December 10, 2010 – States in the U.S. are making significant progress with their net metering and interconnection procedures, according to the latest annual review of these activities.

The 2010 edition of Freeing the Grid, which is produced by the Network for New Energy Choices (NNEC) in partnership with Vote Solar, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), and the North Carolina Solar Center, awarded 37 states “A” or “B” grades for their net metering policies, up from 27 states in 2009, and 20 states “A” or “B” grades for good interconnection practices, up from 15 states in 2009.

And for the first time two states, Massachusetts and Utah, received “A” grades in both interconnection and net metering – the first time in the report’s four-year history that any state has achieved this grade in both categories.

According to the report as of September 2010, 43 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico have statewide net metering programs, albeit of varying quality, typically created through a commission rule, state law, or combination of the two. In addition, Washington DC has its own program, and three states, Idaho, South Carolina and Texas, have voluntary net metering programs. Just three states, Alabama, Mississippi and South Dakota, are without programs.

At the same time 36 states have statewide interconnection procedures, leaving 16 without such procedures.

“Electricity rules and regulations can be incredibly complex and difficult to get right, particularly in the pioneering territory of renewables and self-generation,” commented Kyle Rabin, director of the NNEC. “The tremendous progress we’ve seen leaves no doubt that states are able and willing to tackle these tough issues and advance our clean energy economy.”

The report also identifies Colorado as the state “most likely to succeed.” Colorado’s top score in new metering was earned through use of proven best practices and innovative new policy models. Colorado allows many customer types and systems sizes to benefit from net metering, enabling broad participation in the state’s renewable energy economy. In 2010, the state also took pioneering steps to allow shared, community solar energy systems to receive net metering credits through “community solar gardens.”