Solar Groups Release Rate Design ‘Principles’ Guide

With input and support from a broad coalition of energy advocates across the U.S., the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Vote Solar have released a set of principles intended to help guide and unify future state-level solar rate advocacy work. The organizations says the paper, titled “Principles for the Evolution of Net Energy Metering and Rate Design,” provides a consensus view for regulators and stakeholders actively involved in the compensation for distributed solar generation.

“To effectively communicate as a group, you need to sing from the same song sheet and I’m confident this set of shared principles will resonate loud and clear,” says Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s vice president of state affairs. “With these principles, we’re taking a collective, proactive approach that will ultimately allow for expanded consumer electricity choice and fair compensation for America’s families.”

This year, 40 states plus Washington, D.C., have already considered changes to solar policy. SEIA and Vote Solar say this free paper was developed to guide stakeholders through current and future rate design cases, particularly where higher levels of distributed solar are driving evaluation of the costs and benefits of net energy metering (NEM), or potential NEM successor or replacement measures.

The paper is organized into four sections to guide the decision-making process:

– Basic Principles, foundational to considerations for considering rate design and compensation for distributed solar generation;
– Criteria and Conditions for the Consideration of Alternatives to Net Energy Metering;
– Guiding Principles for Solar Rate Design; and
– Guiding Principles for Alternative Compensation.

“By this time next year, more than 2 million households nationwide will own or lease rooftop solar,” says Rick Gilliam, program director of DG regulatory policy at Vote Solar. “Americans will continue to invest in solar to harness clean, affordable and reliable power for their own homes and businesses, which goes hand-in-hand with building a 21st-century grid that remains reliable, secure and affordable for everyone. This set of principles was designed with that in mind and should serve as a guide for all stakeholders that share that vision.”

The solar industry and advocates welcome additional signers and urge state leaders and regulators to use these principles to improve consumer energy choice, security, and economic opportunity in their communities.

The full paper is available here.


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