As 2014 comes to a close, South Carolina became the 44th state to institute net metering. The news comes on the heels of the announcement that New York has set a significant net metering cap expansion. The New York Public Service Commission agreed to double the allowable rooftop solar capacity for solar net metering. The solar market has already created 5,000 jobs in New York.
Net metering allows solar customers to get credit on their utility bills at the retail rate for any excess power their rooftop solar installations send back to the grid. Utilities sell this clean energy to neighboring customers for the full retail value. In South Carolina, Duke and SCE&G agreed to full retail rate net metering and to not seek any solar-specific charges until 2021.
In a recent South Carolina poll, 73 percent of respondents across political party lines said they want to see more solar growth, and a strong majority of South Carolinians (more than 75%) agreed that rooftop solar is an important part of providing choice and competition in electricity.
“Repeated expansions and the addition of a 44th net metering state demonstrate the strength and fairness of solar net metering,” said Bryan Miller, co-chairman of the Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) and VP of Public Policy for Sunrun. “The public wants more rooftop solar, and they support net metering as the policy that drives solar growth.”
The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) says they were instrumental in the wins and this year have delivered seven net metering expansions including cap increases in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Vermont. The utilities have failed to achieve any net metering retractions.