TWEETS

Full retail credit with no subtractions. Customers protected from fees and additional charges. Rules actively encourage use of DG.

A

Generally good net metering policies with full retail credit, but there could be certain fees or costs that detract from full retail equivalent value. There may be some obstacles to net metering.

B

Adequate net metering rules, but there could be some significant fees or other obstacles that undercut the value or make the process of net metering more difficult.

C

Poor net metering policies with substantial charges or other hindrances. Many customers will forgo an opportunity to install DG because net metering rules subtract substantial economic value.

D

Net metering policies that deter customer-sited DG.

F

No Statewide Policy

N/A

alabama

N/A

alaska

C

arizona

A

arkansas

B

california

A

colorado

A

connecticut

A

delaware

A

Dist. of Columbia

A

florida

B

georgia

F

hawaii

B

idaho

N/A

illinois

B

indiana

B

iowa

B

kansas

B

kentucky

B

louisiana

B

maine

B

maryland

A

massachusetts

A

michigan

B

minnesota

B

mississippi

N/A

missouri

B

montana

C

nebraska

B

nevada

A

new hampshire

A

new jersey

A

new mexico

B

new york

A

north carolina

C

north dakota

D

ohio

A

oklahoma

F

oregon

A

pennsylvania

A

puerto rico

N/A

rhode island

B

south carolina

D

south dakota

N/A

tennessee

N/A

texas

N/A

utah

A

vermont

A

virginia

C

west virginia

A

wisconsin

C

wyoming

B

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New in 2013: Changes to the Grading Criteria

 Significant changes were made to the grading of interconnection procedures in the 2013 edition. These changes were necessary to bring the criteria up to date with current experience and to increase grading transparency. In previous editions of Freeing the Grid, grading criteria were based primarily on the FERC’s Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP), which required many subjective determinations to compare that benchmark to the various format of state procedures. The primary intent behind these changes is to create clear, easy to apply criteria—that still capture the fundamental building blocks of interconnection reflected in the previous focus on the SGIP—while recognizing emerging best practices from the states that go beyond the SGIP.   To facilitate this new approach, interconnection scores are...

Foreword to Freeing the Grid 2013

By Jane Weissman, CEO of IREC State policy is the foundation of clean-energy development in the United States, and net metering and interconnection procedures still remain critical facilitators in supporting the continued growth of renewable energy. These policies allow individuals, businesses, schools, and others to connect renewable energy systems to the grid under transparent terms and receive a fair credit for excess energy they produce while following practices of safety and reliability.  With this in mind, we are pleased to present the 2013 edition of Freeing the Grid. This publication continues to build an objective record of state policy development so that we have an accurate picture of where we are heading as individual states and a country.   As in...

About the Grades

Freeing the Grid developed an index that awards points for elements of both policies that promote participation, expand renewable energy generation, or otherwise advance the policy goals. Conversely, the index issues demerits for program components that discourage participation or limit renewable energy generation. The resulting numerical score is then translated into letter grades for both net metering and interconnection.   Net Metering A        Full retail credit with no subtractions. Customers protected from fees and additional charges. Rules actively encourage renewable adoption. B        Generally good net metering policies with full retail credit, but there could be certain fees or costs that detract from full retail equivalent value. There may be some obstacles to net metering. C ...

Best Practices

In Focus 2013: Best Practices: Expanding access to net metering For three decades, states have served as the proving grounds for connecting renewable energy to the grid. The best practices have emerged; there is no need for a state to reinvent the wheel. Across the board, the most successful states share certain policy components. Net Metering Guiding Principles and Best Practices: Right to self-generate and connect to the grid: Every retail electricity customer has the right to install solar generation equipment at the customer’s site, and interconnect to the utility grid without discrimination. Right to reduce electricity use: Any reduction in a customers energy use due to onsite solar generation should not be imputed as a stranded cost to the utility....

Worst Practices

In Focus 2013: Undervaluing net-metered generation   With distributed solar generation (DSG) growing at a record pace, states nationwide are undertaking comprehensive studies to assess the benefits and costs of this dynamic resource. The origins of these studies are diverse, either undertaken at the behest of regulators, commissioned by advocates in the solar industry, or put forward by utilities. The implications of these studies are critical as they are being conducted in a growing number of states, often with the explicit intent of altering the very structure of net metering programs or practices.   The importance of a transparent and informed DSG study methodology cannot be overstated. A flawed analysis that exaggerates general ratepayer costs associated with net-metered customers and understates the...

Model Rules

Applying the lessons from existing statewide net metering programs and interconnection procedures, IREC has drafted model interconnection procedures and net metering rules for use by state utility commissions and other stakeholders. As states consider adopting or revising programs, these models provide an easy way to emulate effective policies and avoid wasteful mistakes.   Model Net Metering Rules These model rules from IREC provide additional detail regarding net metering policy design and best practices.   Model Interconnection Standards These model interconnection procedures from IREC incorporate the best practices of small-generator interconnection procedures developed by various state governments, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) standards, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and the Mid-Atlantic Distributed Resources Initiative (MADRI).   Connecting to the...

Net Metering

Like roll over minutes on your cell phone bill, net metering allows a renewable customer’s electric meter to “spin backwards” ensuring that they receive fair credit for valuable clean power they put back on the grid.   There are times when a customer’s solar array or other renewable energy system produces more electricity than is needed on-site. That valuable power is put onto the grid for use nearby where it is needed.   Net metering ensures that electric customers who generate their own power get credit  for each kilowatt-hour of excess electricity they deliver to the grid. These credits can then be used by the customer to offset power they purchase from the utility at other times. In other words ....

Interconnection

Interconnection standards are the legal rules and procedures for “plugging” a renewable energy system into the power grid. This includes the technical and contractual terms that both system owners and utilities must follow.   Generally, the distribution utility must study and approve a proposed renewable energy system within a framework established by the state’s public utilities commission. Utilities traditionally have determined which systems may connect to the grid and under what circumstances. This arrangement can result in significant barriers to customer-sited renewable energy. Wherever interconnection standards are unclear, or where redundant or unnecessary tests or steps are piled on the existing national standards, the results can be costly.   To eliminate the potential for utility interference, the interconnection process must be governed...

Glossary

We know that energy policy can look like alphabet soup. Here’s a translation of some of the more common acronyms, abbreviations and policy concepts from Freeing the Grid:   Aggregate Net Metering: Allows a single energy customer to link several meters, for example multiple buildings on a farm or college campus, to the net metering benefits of a single renewable energy system.   Board of Public Utilities (BPU): A state or local authority responsible for regulating utilities, typically with a mandate of ensure safe, adequate, and proper utility services at reasonable rates for customers in its jurisdiction. See also PSC and PUC.   Combined Heat and Power (CHP): Thermal power stations lose some amount of energy as a heat by-product. CHP,...