About Freeing the Grid

Freeing the Grid is a joint initiative of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and Vote Solar that grades states on specific policies that help to increase clean energy adoption and access to the grid.

The state grades are intended to assist policymakers and other stakeholders with identifying policy best practices for enabling the rapid growth of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar and energy storage, and benchmarking states’ existing policies against those adopted in other jurisdictions. 

Between 2007 and 2017, the project team released ten report cards that included state grades for both interconnection and net metering policies. The 2023 grades shown above indicate the quality of a state or territory’s interconnection policies for DERs, based on updated grading criteria reflecting best practices that have emerged in the last five years. However, Vote Solar and IREC recognize that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, along with low-wealth households, often live in communities with significant underinvestment in grid infrastructure. Vote Solar’s Access and Equity Advisory Committee, in partnership with IREC, is analyzing the interconnection process and associated rules through a racial and class equity lens. We expect these equitable interconnection findings to be incorporated into a future release along with Vote Solar’s grades on statewide DER compensation policies.


Interconnection policies specify the processes, timelines, costs, and technical requirements associated with connecting distributed energy resources—such as solar and energy storage systems—safely and reliably to the grid.

About IREC

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) builds the foundation for rapid adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency to benefit people, the economy, and our planet. Its vision is a 100% clean energy future that is reliable, resilient, and equitable. IREC develops and advances the regulatory reforms, technical standards, and workforce solutions needed to enable the streamlined integration of clean, distributed energy resources. IREC has been trusted for its independent clean energy expertise for over 40 years, since its founding in 1982. For more information, visit irecusa.org or follow IREC on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.

About Vote Solar

Vote Solar’s mission is to realize a 100% clean energy future through a solutions-driven, people first approach. Founded in 2002, Vote Solar advances just and equitable clean energy policy in state legislatures and public commissions across the United States. Our expertise comes from a deep understanding of the legislative process, regulatory interventions, and the ability to identify and accelerate solar solutions. We are adept at bridging communities and bringing diverse stakeholders together to forge inclusive coalitions and winning campaigns. For more information, visit votesolar.org or follow Vote Solar on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.

Sign up for related updates from IREC and Vote Solar

Scroll to Top